West Virginia University is renting two floors in a downtown Charleston building, relocating its Kanawha City-based community service programs there and possibly using the site to offer continuing legal education classes for attorneys and a startup business incubator.
That’s according to a Monday WVU news release, which said the move is projected to cost $750,000, not including the $374,539 annual lease for the space. The full opening is expected by January, the release said.
“Funding is coming from private support and a reallocation of WVU resources currently used in Charleston,” the release said.
For the last decade, the WVU Kanawha County Extension Service — which has helped provide computer coding classes and 4-H programming, among other services — has been headquartered in the City Center East building in Kanawha City.
“The Kanawha County WVU Extension Office, Family Nutrition Program, SNAP-Ed, After School Network and other staff will move from their current location in Kanawha City,” the release said.
The new space will be 19,000 square feet in the Equities House, on the corner of Virginia and Dickinson streets.
“Charleston is the business and cultural heart of West Virginia,” WVU President Gordon Gee said in the release. “While West Virginia University has always been in the Charleston region in some capacity, this new venture provides a consolidated and multi-faceted presence that will allow the University to serve its constituents better and create a base of operations that will greatly benefit the region and the state.”
WVU said its College of Law and John Chambers College of Business and Economics will also have space within that square footage.
“For years, our alumni in the Charleston area have asked us about having a more tangible presence in the region,” law school Dean Gregory Bowman said in the release. “With this new opportunity, WVU Law will be able to offer continuing legal education classes and certificate courses. We also can be a resource and a hub for law students working at the West Virginia State Capitol and in the area’s law firms and legal aid organizations.”
Bowman also said that “with our combined resources in one place, we can help new businesses get off the ground.”
Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin said in a release that “Charleston is thrilled that West Virginia University has chosen to expand its operations and move into the Equities House. The addition of the WVU College of Law, WVU Extension Service and John C. Chambers College of Business and Economics in the heart of downtown will be a welcome benefit for the City of Charleston and her people.”