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Elkins receives facelift in time for Forest Festival

September 18, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The 76th Mountain State Forest Festival will begin in less than two weeks, and several Elkins businesses and roads are being improved just in time for the event.

Railroad Avenue is one of many streets that is being transformed by the Randolph County Development Authority. Robbie Morris, the RCDA's executive director, said the changes are the result of the agency's Streetscape project, which involves widening the street and adding trees and sidewalks.

"Railroad Avenue has become such a thoroughfare," Morris said. "It's the perfect time of year to do that." He noted the improved traffic flow in the area will be a positive influence on Forest Festival visitors.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Casey Houser
Guttman Oil employees give a facelift to the Citgo at Colonial Court Service Center in Elkins on Friday. The vertically stacked letters on the Citgo sign and the canopy above the fuel pumps are being painted for a new look, just in time for the Mountain State Forest Festival.

The Streetscape project also includes a number of other roads in town, milling of which began on Monday in preparation for paving.

"We try to get them paved pretty quickly," said Bob Pingley, city of Elkins operations manager, adding that all the paving should be finished before the festival begins.

City businesses are sprucing up their look, as well.

The Citgo on South Randolph Avenue, as well as the YMCA and Old Brick Playhouse on Davis Avenue all have been adorned with something new.

Last week, the vertically stacked Citgo logo and the canopy above the fuel pumps were painted with a fresh design.

The Randolph County YMCA recently was fashioned with a pair of new outdoor logos.

They face Fourth Street and Davis Avenue. In addition, a garden will be created at the YMCA. Allen Garden will be placed on the Davis Avenue side of the building to honor donations madeby Joyce Allen.

Missy McCollam spoke Monday about the painting taking place at the Old Brick Playhouse.

"It's a 20-year facelift," McCollam said. "We are doing our best to restore the building to its original look."

New windows were installed last year, and this year the moulding atop the building is being painted.

McCollam mentioned that there is a lot of foot traffic in Elkins, especially at this time of year and during the Forest Festival. Visitors will have many new sights to see this autumn.

Contact Casey Houser by email at



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