Health Care Nonprofit Expresses Interest in Vacant Navy Facility in West Virginia

A child welfare and behavioral health care organization says it is interested in acquiring a recently shuttered communications facility run by the Navy in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia.

Kansas-based KVC Health Systems is proposing to turn the 122-acre campus at the former Navy Information Operations Command Sugar Grove into a skills training college for young adults transitioning out of foster care.

“KVC is still enthusiastic about [Sugar Grove’s] potential for research [and], more importantly, its positive impact on youth,” said KVC spokeswoman Jenny Kutz, reported the Washington Times. “We will continue to partner closely with community and state leadership to move this vision to reality,” Kutz added.

To acquire the campus — which includes residential housing among its 105 buildings — the nonprofit most likely would need to submit the winning bid at a planned auction by the General Services Administration. The agency first needs to appraise the property and set a reserve bid for the auction.

“KVC is exploring every possible avenue, including an auction and any other conveyance of the property,” according to Thomas Bailey, a consultant for KVC. “We are working with the state economic development office and the governor’s office,” he said.

The federal government had offered to turn over the facility to the state at no cost for use as a state prison, but Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) turned down the overture.

The Navy base closed in September, eliminating one of Pendleton County’s largest employers. At one time, its workforce numbered 300. By the time the facility closed, only 115 people worked there, reported WHSV. The closure came as part of a realignment announced by the National Security Agency in 2012. The agency, however, continues to operate from a portion of the property.

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