The Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau has agreed to kick in $100,000 over the next two years to help offset the cost of a conference center at the soon-to-be built National Guard Readiness Center.
CVB executive director Laura Meadows said the conference center "presents a huge opportunity" to bring tourists and organizations to the Buckhannon area.
She said the CVB hopes to recoup the expenditure from the money received renting out the space.
"It's another opportunity to move the CVB and the community forward," she said.
CVB board member Steve Foster said bid packages for the the Readiness Center are expected to be released this week. He added he hopes the project can break ground some time this fall, "so we can start making plans to book that facility." The center is expected to be able to serve between 300 and 500 people.
Meadows said the CVB plans to submit a request to Buckhannon City Council to be the official booking agent and manager of the conference center portion of the facility. The city council has agreed to hold off on annexation plans until the construction contracts are awarded for the first phase of the project.
The facility is expected to replace the National Guard complex on West Virginia Route 20 and has been estimated to cost $3 million to $4 million. It will be located along Brushy Fork Road, about 1 mile off U.S. 33.
Local government agencies have been asked to contribute to the cost of the conference center portion of the building, and the City Council has agreed to pay about $800,000 toward the project. Some of that cost comes through in-kind contributions.