The Holly Apartments on Route 20 South have finally been demolished, the commissioners announced last month. At the commission's Nov. 16 meeting, they officially declared the case closed. / My Buckhannon file photo

County commission applauds demolition of Holly Apartments on Route 20 South

BUCKHANNON – It has taken nearly two-and-a-half years and three 60-day extensions, but what remained of the Holly Apartments in Adrian has finally been razed, the Upshur County Commission announced this week.

The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a May 2021 fire ripped throughout the building, which was visible along Route 20 South in Adrian.

At the commission’s Oct. 26 meeting, Commission President Kristie Tenney said commissioners were thrilled to see that the main building had finally been demolished.

“While the commission recognizes the extended length of time it took for the former previous Holly Apartments property to be cleaned up, the future community center would not be possible without the generous donation from the George family,” Tenney said in a prepared statement. “The Upshur County Commission appreciates the Randall Hughes Ministry for spearheading this project and for taking into consideration the needs of the community they serve.”

“We are delighted to see the recent progress on the site, and we look forward to the future,” Tenney added.

Although there was initially some confusion about who owned the land, the deed to the property was officially transferred from the George family to the Randall Hughes Ministry in January 2023, and the commission initially allotted the ministry 90 days to clean up the area.

After that time frame had passed, the commission voted to give the ministry several 60-day extensions, the most recent of which was granted at its Sept. 14 meeting when ministry representatives explained they had encountered difficulties with their contractor.

Earlier this year, a representative of the Randall Hughes Ministry, Linda Hughes, told the commission the ministry hoped to expand the property into a space for a community center, complete with an area for picnicking once the apartments had been knocked down, according to a previous story.

“Eventually, as the church gets the money, we would like to make a community center,” Hughes said at a commission meeting in July 2023. “There’s a stream between the property, and there’s a little island, so we hope to develop that and make a little bridge across and allow the community to use it for whatever they want.”

In other county news, the commission approved and signed an application for a grant through the West Virginia Records Management and Preservation Board to preserve and maintain county records for public and county use for fiscal year 2024-2025.

Commissioners were required to rank the three county offices that applied by priority, although Tenney said funds may be available for all interested departments. The commission ranked the Assessor’s Office first, the Circuit Clerk’s Office second and the Sheriff’s Office third. Upshur County Administrator Tabatha Perry said that was the order in which applications were received.

If awarded, the commission is required to provide a 10 percent cash match for all grant funds expended.

Prior to adjourning, the commission also:

  • Approved and signed an agreement for the 2023-2024 fiscal year between the Upshur County Board of Education “by and through the state superintendent of schools as designee for the West Virginia Board of Education” and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office for a Prevention Resource Officer at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.
  • Approved a request from Sheriff Mike Coffman to hire Robert Jason Phillips as a fill-in court security officer, effective Nov. 5, 2023.

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