Beach fights effort to move WVNET from Morgantown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Lawmakers in Charleston are considering a plan that move Morgantown-based West Virginia Network and about 70 jobs to another location. State senator Bob Beach says the company provides technical network learning educational services and software to just about every institution in the state.

“Probably the number two technology company in the state, it’s on all of our campuses-community, university and four-year campuses, it’s in 174 library locations across the state, it’s in every courthouse and the Supreme Court, they’re everywhere,”Beach said,”The do a fantastic job and they do it quietly.”

Four years ago moving the organization was considered, but legislation sponsored by Beach and Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer prevented that from happening. At the time, the cost to move the organization was up to $1.2 million, not including a new facility and new location.

Beach believes there is a technical process that he will address in session on Monday.

“It’s only going to be referred to one committee, Government Organization,”Beach said,”That’s a Higher Education Commission issue and it’s also a Finance Committee issue if it has a price tag of $1.2 million. My next step on the floor Monday morning is to ask for that bill to go to the proper committees.”

Beach speculated that downstate lawmakers are eyeing the future with the proposal.

“If we are really going to step up and improve broadband across this state and we need a platform and wherever it’s located there will be jobs,”Beach said,”I think the folks who sponsored this are also looking at that.”