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West Virginia ex-hotel transformed into social services hub

December 31, 2020 GMT

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A former West Virginia Ramada Inn will soon become a social services center, the Dominion Post reported.

Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that $3.5 million in federal coronavirus relief money is funding renovations to the Morgantown building that include a new roof, HVAC system and sprinkler system. The social services center is dearly needed, Justice said.

“We’ve got a lot of people that are out there that are really, really hurting,” he said. “We hope and pray this is going to do a lot of good stuff for a lot of people that are out there, great West Virginians that are hurting.”

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The 110,000 square-foot building and 10-acre property was initially provided to West Virginia University Medicine by Mark Nesselroad and the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust with the idea of turning it into a one-stop shop for those in need of aid and services. Morgantown Community Resources Inc., a subsidiary of WVU Hospitals, currently owns it.

“We intend to have a tenant that will provide shelter for the homeless, at least one tenant that will have a feeding program, and a sobriety center,” said Robert O’Neil, executive vice president and chief administrative services officer for WVU Health System. The tenants will join the United Way, which was the first to occupy the structure thanks to $820,000 from the charitable trust in June. That money was used to begin renovations and to launch a boxed meal program for students and families stuck at home due to COVID-19.