HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Town officials said they were lucky to quickly make repairs to Naylor Memorial Hall after strong winds damaged it last month.Treasurer Ronnie Good said part of the metal roof of the historic structure, which serves as Town Hall, was blown off. The Feb. 24 storm downed trees and left hundreds without electric service.
Speaking at Wednesday night’s council meeting, Good said he heard about the damage before seeing it in person. “Thank God it wasn’t raining at that time or this place would have been destroyed,” he said. He and other officials, including Mayor Mary Ann Pile and Recorder Rachel Fields, immediately looked for a contractor to help with the damage.At the same time, the Hedgesville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co. was on the scene helping, he said. “We needed it done then because the northern half of the roof was rippled and already off,” he said. In the end, local contractor Danny Beavers replaced the damaged area for approximately $5,000, he said.Special boards had to be cut for the work due to the structure’s age. “It really was something to see because when the roof was off, there was insulation blowing everywhere, even across the road,” he said. “You can see that it also blew through some of the cracks around the boards up in the ceiling. So we are also going to get a price on cleaning that up,” he said. Remaining work includes getting the building’s chimney capped and repositioning insulation. He said the situation could have been worse without local efforts to minimize the damage. “We had really good cooperation from everyone all around, but especially from Danny,” he said. “Just seeing it get repaired so quickly was a big load off my mind, because that isn’t always possible in these types of situations,” he said. Approximately $27,000 was spent on historic preservation work there; that might have been in vain if immediate repairs weren’t done, he said. The building dates to the late 1830s and was first used as St. Mark’s Methodist Church. “The Naylor family bought it back in the 1950s, and then it was donated for a town hall,” he said. It also previously housed the local public library.