PHILIPPI - Efforts to expand the Philippi Sheetz are underway, and officials say the newly reconstructed building will be bigger and have more to offer.
"I would say (it's going to be) at least twice the size as what they have now," Philippi Code Enforcement Officer Bill Annon said. "It'll be completely different that what is here now."
The Sheetz construction team will be making more use out of the riverside property and are expanding the store's services. Sheetz Construction Manager Ed Baird said the renovated facility will feature a seating area where Alderson-Broaddus University students and other residents will have access to power outlets and free wifi.
Baird and Annon both said Philippi's being a college town played a role in what changes will be made to Sheetz.
"I think they're trying to look at the college up there - the kids - for someplace that they can come," Annon said. "You have 24-hour food service."
The new building also will house an upgraded version of Sheetz Brothers Coffee and will expand its stock of foods. Annon said a patio dining area will also be added.
Sheetz's gas services also will expand from four to six service pumps.
Baird said the interior design will be large and open with a high ceiling to give the store's outward appearance a two-story look.
The property also has a river view near the city's historical Philippi Covered Bridge and is separated from the waters only by a railroad track that is still active.
"It's going to be a lot fancier," Baird said. "It's going to be fancy inside, very colorful inside."
The Philippi Sheetz closed its doors for demolition on Feb. 27. The demolition work has been performed by Sunrise Construction, a local business owned by Doward Matlick, a Barbour County Board of Education member. Although the building has been demolished, the site work continues to prepare the lot for the building's reconstruction.
The new Sheetz facility could be open as early as July, if not earlier, Annon said. The business set an opening goal for the first week of July, but Annon said officials hope they can open earlier.