U.S. Senator Joe Manchin along with Wheeling City officials got a sneak peek today at the Health Plan building taking shape on Main and Market streets.
Officials say the construction is ahead of schedule, so The Health Plan will occupy the building in six months.
"We definitely hope to be in before Christmas," said Dave Matthieu, vice president. "It would be nice if we were here before the Christmas Parade! That would be even better. But it's 75% complete. A lot of the interior is already framed up. The HVAC system is in."
Senator Joe Manchin briefly took part in the first part of the tour, assuring everyone that he's like a Fed Ex package--he'll keep coming back.
"You know, I think he was real excited to see The Health Plan progress like this," said Mayor Glenn Elliott of Wheeling. "We made the case that Wheeling is a city on the rise."
Mayor Glenn Elliott took the long version of the tour, climbing up to the fourth floor, and he emerged with praise for the architect, Vic Greco.
"He has really done a great job of putting together a building that kind of complements the historic architecture here in the area," the mayor noted. "It also makes a clear statement that it's new. It's the first new office building in downtown Wheeling in 35 years. We couldn't be more excited about that."
Meanwhile, The Health Plan already has 80 employees in Wheeling, working in the Horne's Building.
"And they will stay there and will bring in another 320 by the end of the year so that'll round out to about 400 to 425 folks," Matthieu said.
At that point, he says they'll be out of their St. Clairsville facility, and completely moved to Wheeling.