Security Wall, Fence Coming to W.Va. Governor's Mansion

By: WV MetroNews Email
By: WV MetroNews Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV MetroNews) -- A member of the Capitol Building Commission supports a plan to secure the state Capitol complex.

State Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury voted with other members of the building commission Wednesday in favor of the plan.

"This is well thought through," Canterbury said.

The plan includes the construction of a bench sitting wall around the complex.

The first phase is construction of the wall and a fence around the Governor's Mansion.

Canterbury said plans are to move the Kanawha Boulevard sidewalk toward the street, eliminate up to 10 legislative parking spaces and construct the mansion fence on top of the new limestone sitting wall.

Canterbury said he believes the public will understand.

"There is a real feeling of openness in West Virginia and we pride ourselves in that and I think there's also now an understanding that people are doing some pretty reckless and harmful things," Canterbury said.

There have been a few recent incidences near the mansion which currently has no perimeter wall or fence around it. The rest of the campus will be surrounded by the sitting wall that will be short enough to sit on but tall enough to prevent a vehicle from going over top of it.

"I think the people are wise to security these days and they won't see this as detrimental, but instead an enhancement to the campus," Canterbury said.

The Capitol Building Commission has been looking at the security issue for a few years. Dozens of unattractive bollards were put in by a Manchin administration official several years ago, those were eventually removed. The master plan is a six-phase plan.

"This won't be an imposing grotesque barrier, it certainly won't be bollards, but it will be a sufficient height to keep some sort of vehicle from smashing into the side of the capitol," Canterbury said.

The old stone wall around the Holly Grove property at the corner of Kanawha Blvd. and Greenbrier Street will stay in place.

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