By Lacie PiersonThe Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- While members of Arthur "Art" Weisberg's family toured the engineering building that bears his name, Marshall University Chief of Staff Matt Turner asked Louis Weisberg, Arthur's son, what he thought of the building."Oh, it's great," said Louis Weisberg, president of Service Wire Company. "Dad would really like it."Art Weisberg founded State Electric Supply Co. and Service Wire Company in the 1950s, and he was part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the complex in October 2012, about one month before he passed away at the age of 88.In the 14 months since the groundbreaking ceremony, the Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex has sprouted into a four-story facility with 145,000 square feet of what will become state-of-the-art educational space for six different academic components and programs at the university, including the College of Information Technology and Engineering.The complex is located between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Center on 3rd Avenue.
Construction on the project is a little more than 50 percent complete, and it is a couple of months ahead of schedule, said Ron May, director of facilities and planning at Marshall.By spring, May said, construction crews should have completed the plumbing and roofing of the building and placed metal sheeting throughout the complex.In 2006, Art and Joan Weisberg gave $2.5 million to the university after the board of governors approved the re-launching of the school's bachelor's degree program in engineering.Louis Weisberg was joined on the Dec. 20 tour by his mother and Art's widow, Joan Weisberg; his own wife, Liz Weisberg; and their daughters, Trish and Marlo.For Joan, the building touched equally on her husband's past and Huntington's future."He would think this is magnificent," she said. "The young people who will learn this profession and stay in our community and add so greatly to it -- that is what the school of engineering stands for."Much of the conversation during the tour wasn't focused on the stature of the building, but rather what was inside of it. The building is filled with miles of wiring from State Electric, said Shawn Dixon, president of Dixon Electrical Systems & Contracting Inc.Dixon said he and the other building contractors had the opportunity to speak with Art Weisberg after they were awarded the building contracts for the complex."He was so excited about this project," Dixon said. "We've been State Electric customers for 27 years, and I think he was excited that local contractors were doing it. It's more than just his name on the building. It's him in the building."