Pictured following the presentation of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia's 2013 Most Significant Save of an Endangered Property Award are (l-r) Roger Griffith, Libby Belcher, Dr. L. Marshall Washington, John Manchester, Jeremy Morris and Lynn Stasik.
[Lewisburg, W. Va.] New River Community and Technical College and the City of Lewisburg were honored in a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 22, for their efforts in preserving and re-using the historic old Greenbrier County Public Library building in Lewisburg, W. Va., for the new college library.
The city and college received the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia's 2013 Most Significant Save of an Endangered Property Award. This award is given each year to a deserving individual, business, or organization that has saved a property listed on the West Virginia Endangered Properties List, a collection of historic structures, buildings, and sites threatened by demolition and/or disuse.
The award was presented by Jeremy Morris, president of the Preservation Alliance, to Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester, New River President L. Marshall Washington, Greenbrier Valley Campus Dean Roger Griffith, and New River Chief Communications Officer Elizabeth (Libby) Belcher. Also on hand for the ceremony were Danielle LaPresta, executive director of the Preservation Alliance; Lynn Stasik, the organization's statewide field representative; and a number of Preservation Alliance board members and community members.
The 1834 library building, located on Courtney Drive, was added to the endangered list in 2010 because of deterioration that occurred after the Greenbrier County Library moved to its new home in 2007. The historic building had been deeded to the city with the provision that it be used as a library or historical museum. In 2010, New River leased the library building from the city and worked in concert with the city to restore it for use as the college library.
In accepting the award, Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester and New River President L. Marshall Washington praised the strong partnership between the city and the college that made the project possible. The City of Lewisburg provided the resources to replace the roof and the heating and air conditioning system. The maintenance crew from New River's Greenbrier Valley Campus repaired warped floorboards, constructed a handicapped-accessible restroom, painted the interior and exterior of the building and are working to renovate all of the windows in accordance with historic preservation techniques taught in workshops led by Stasik.
Following the award presentation and a reception, guests visited the restored library and were given a tour by New River librarian Robert Coston. The library serves all five New River locations and is also open to the public.