Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 8, 2014

Report provides price for Dean Building

PRINCETON — City officials recently received figures detailing the cost of turning a former wood products center into a new municipal building for Princeton.

In 2013, Owner Richard Preservati offered the former Dean Company property to the city of Princeton. Current plans call for moving city offices and departments to the former First Community Bank along Mercer Street, but the New River Community and Technical College has expressed interest in buying the building and turning it into a Mercer County campus.

Swope Construction Company has given the city an estimate of how much renovating the Dean Company site would cost. The cost was based on drawings provided to Swope Construction by the heads of the city’s fire, police and maintenance divisions in accordance with Mercer County’s prevailing wage rates, Project Manager Patric Dove said in a letter dated March 3.

“While we do appreciate the opportunity to price the aforementioned work, we do recommend for the city to contract a registered architect and engineering firm to better utilize the vast space the Dean Company space offers in order to meet each division’s unique needs,” Dove wrote to City Manager Elke Doom.

The “rough order of magnitude pricing” for the work was as follows: $1.25 million for the police station; $1,040,000 for the fire station; and $340,000 for the maintenance department. The total is more that $2.6 million.

“I am pleased with the renovation estimates we received from Swope Construction,” Doom told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “Our public works director, police and fire chiefs met with representatives from Swope to share their ideas and provide rough sketches of what their ideal work space would be.”

Doom said the estimates were not unexpected.

“When you take in consideration that the estimate is based on increased square footage for department expansion, the cost estimate is within range of what I anticipated,” Doom said. “Although we are fortunate to have many skilled people working for the city that will assist with the build-out, it will still be necessary for us to go out to bid for additional construction services.”

“Our intention is that eventually all city services will be located on the site,” she said. “I’ve been informed that the section of the Dean Building we will occupy is built to withstand a 500-year flood. We may not ever be able to completely control flooding on and around Stafford Drive, but the new city municipal complex elevation has the advantage of being better able to weather a major flood.”

In a letter date Feb. 26, Mayor Patricia “Pat” Wilson said there were many concerns that need to be addressed before city hall is moved to the Dean Company site. There were still many unknowns, and she was unsure how the city could proceed without more studies being done.

The Princeton City Council voted 4 to 3 in February to start negotiations with New River Community College about purchasing the former First Community Bank Building.

Wilson said in her letter that there were no plans in the near future to develop a recreation park on the property.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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