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Wall work at Millsop Center moving along

PROJECT — Construction equipment is set up along the south wall of the Millsop Community Center, in Weirton, as a project continues to shore up the wall and foundation. Officials report the first phase of the project is about 50 percent complete. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — A project to shore up the south wall of the Millsop Community Center is moving along, although officials warn more disruptions may occur as a result.

Crews have been on site in recent weeks as part of an effort to repair and reinforce the wall, which had begun showing signs of disrepair and slipping. The work has necessitated the closing of Sarah’s Lane, which runs between the community center and the Mary H. Weir Public Library, and often is used as an exit point by the Weirton Fire Department.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation, Parks Director Coty Shingle announced he had received an invoice indicating this phase of the project was 50 percent complete.

“We’re about halfway there,” Shingle said.

One issue Shingle noted had not been anticipated was the need to drain the pool inside the Millsop Center.

Shingle reported that was brought forth two days into the project, along with an explanation some work may be needed on the interior portion of the wall.

The closure of the pool, Shingle was advised, could last between two and three months, a situation Shingle and the board said is unacceptable.

The pool is a focal point within the Millsop Community Center, offering both an area for members to swim and a home for various programs and classes. Shingle said even having the pool closed in recent weeks has resulted in the loss of some members.

Shingle said he would be meeting with the contractor of the project Thursday afternoon to discuss ways to get the pool reopened soon.

“It’s a nickel and dime business to begin with,” Shingle said. “I need a working solution.”

Board member Ronnie Jones agreed action is needed to keep the pool in operation, and also expressed surprise the issue had not come up before.

“We’ve been planning this for a long time,” Jones said.

The work is the first phase of a renovation project, with funding assistance coming from Weirton Council which agreed to provide up to $500,000. Shingle estimates the first phase could reach $460,000.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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