Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 9, 2013

New Mercer Health Department enters final days of completion

GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — After years of planning and construction, employees of the Mercer County Health Department are counting the days until they can move into the new quarters that have taken the place of their old, deteriorating home.

The new quarters for the Mercer County Health Department now stand on the same Green Valley site the former building used to occupy.

“The building itself is just about done,” said Executive Director Susan Kadar. “There’s still some items being finished up.”

Moving day could arrive by mid-December, but it will more likely be happening during the first of the year, Kadar said Friday. There are plans to host an open house so the public can visit the new health department building, but the plans will depend on weather at that time.

“Of course, we’re hoping we will be there a lot faster. It will depend on when the furniture gets here. It would be nice if it all came in at once, real early,” she said. “We’ll have everybody come out, and we don’t care who shows up, to see it. It’s for the community. It’s for the people.”

Health department personnel now operating out of the St. Luke’s Professional Building in Bluefield have visited their future home. The facility is impressive, Kadar said.

“We’ve been out to tour it,” she said. “It’s wonderful, just wonderful. We can’t wait to get in.”

The former facility, built during the 1960s, had deteriorated by the time the health department moved to its temporary location. The building was poorly insulated, and many of its fixtures did not work. Mold was often a problem, and some rooms were closed off because they were not needed. Finding a way to describe the differences between the old building and the new structure is difficult.

“I don’t have the words,” Kadar said. “It’s as different as night and day. This is cheerful, and it’s new everything. We’ll be walking around with our mouths open. Look at this! Look at this! ”