Potomac State College of WVU to Receive National Guard Armory, Property for Future Recreational Facility, STEM Building
Potomac State College (PSC) of West Virginia University (WVU) plans to increase its recreational opportunities and classroom space with the recent approval by the Board of Public Works to transfer the National Guard Armory and property to the College.
“Historically, Potomac State College owned the property where the armory is now located having sold it to the State Armory Board in 1960,” said PSC President Leonard Colelli. “We’ve been very interested in re-integrating that property with our PSC campus for a number of years because the flat landscape gives us the space we need to expand. Our plans are to provide health and recreational opportunities for the College and community as well as a site location to eventually construct an academic Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building,” said President Colelli.
As part of the agreement, PSC will provide the National Guard with office space on its campus in order to continue recruiting activities together with operational space for a proposed ROTC program at PSC if the Guard decides to move in that direction. Additionally, the College has agreed to allow the West Virginia National Guard to use portions of the campus for staging purposes during emergency situations as may be declared by the Governor of the State of West Virginia or the President of the United States. And the third stipulation is that the College will continue to memorialize SSG Jonah E. Kelly by maintaining his name on the facility prior to and after renovation. (Jonah “Eddie” Kelley [April 13, 1923 – January 31, 1945] was an army soldier who received the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in World War II. He was also a graduate of Keyser High School and attended PSC.)
President Colelli says work to transfer the armory and property has been a collaborative effort among a number of individuals and groups including Major General James Hoyer and Brigadier General Harrison Gilliam and their staffs with the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia State Delegate Gary Howell.
In the near future, the College plans to use the armory facility for student activities. Long term plans, as the College is able to secure financial funding, are to establish a College/Community Health and Recreational Facility and construct an academic STEM building. “We’re always looking for partnerships towards these goals,” concluded President Colelli.