Cabell County Schools kick off construction of new career center at Huntington Mall



Cabell County Schools kicks off construction of new career tech center


  • Oct 17, 2023


BARBOURSVILLE — Charles R. Neighborgall IV said standing in the former Sears building and future career technology center at the Huntington Mall on Tuesday was a “full circle moment” as both his father and grandfather helped construct the former Sears and Cabell County Career Technology Center before him.

Cabell County Schools celebrated a “Kickoff to Construction” for the new Woody Williams Center for Advanced Learning and Careers on Tuesday with district partners, community members and many current Cabell County Career Technology Center students.

Neighborgall, president of Neighborgall Construction, which was awarded the $48,215,000 contract for the construction of the new Woody Williams Center, said it made him emotional thinking about the past and future of the space.

“My grandfather back in the ‘50s built the original Sears, it was where the St. Mary’s School of Nursing is now. … Then in the early ‘80s, late ‘70s, (my father) built the Sears building here at the mall and the career center where it’s currently housed. And here in two years we’ll finish this,” Neighborgall said. “It’s a little emotional for me, but it’s fantastic. And their mission and purpose here is terrific because that’s our future workforce that’s going to be learning right here, so that’s a neat aspect of this project for us.”

In lieu of shoveling dirt as Cabell County Schools representatives have done at previous groundbreaking ceremonies, staff and some students hammered nails and welded some metal for the Kickoff to Construction event.

The facility, which is expected to take about two years to complete, will have approximately 240,000 square feet of space for classrooms and teaching spaces to house current Cabell County Career Technology Center programs and allow the possibility of adding some new programs.

Brent Casey, Woody Williams’ grandson, said it was an honor to see Williams recognized with the naming of the Woody Williams Center for Advanced Learning and Career.

“I think Woody would be, would absolutely say, of all of the recognitions and honors, including receiving the Medal of Honor from President Truman in 1945, none of those were more important than what we are doing here today, than what will happen in this building in the future and for future generations,” Casey said.

Melissa Ash, principal of the current Cabell County Career Technology Center, said ahead of the hammering and welding that the new center will be an educational beacon.

“This signifies a turning point in our commitment to education, professional development and the future of our community here,” “As we hammer these first nails later in the ceremony and torch this metal, we symbolically lay the groundwork for the Williams Center to be a beacon of progress, a fortress of innovation and a hub for learning.”

Ash said the district’s responsibility with the new facility includes not only meeting students’ current needs in career and technical education, but that it evolves as demands of the workforce change.

Superintendent Ryan Saxe also introduced representatives from Marshall Health Network, Moses AutoMall and Moses Auto Group, and Putnam County Bank as initial partners and sponsors of lab and classroom spaces in the new Woody Williams Center.

“These business partners will play a pivotal role in shaping the educational and professional paths of our students and the spaces in which they learn because of their generous sponsorships,” Saxe said.

Sarah Ingram is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering public K-12 education. Follow her on Twitter @SIngramHD.




The Largest Mall in West Virginia

Posted in West Virginia AttractionsShopping November 10, 2022 by Cristy

Spanning 1,570,160 Square Feet, The Largest Mall In West Virginia Is Hiding Just Outside Huntington

“Let’s go to the mall.” How often have you proposed this option as a way to fill a portion of the day with friends or family? How often have you followed through, heading to the mall to browse clothing racks or catch good sales or just for some walking exercise on a cold or rainy day? Malls are staples of the modern experience, and the largest mall, in West Virginia at least, is Huntington Mall in Barboursville, which encloses a massive 1,570,160 square feet of retail space and boasts more than 150 stores and services.

First opened in 1981, Huntington Mall isn’t the newest mall in West Virginia, but it certainly is our largest!

mall has been a community staple to the greater Huntington, West Virginia area.

Huntington Mall / Facebook

With 11 anchor tenants and more than 150 shops and services (including a massive food court, an indoor play place for children, and an in-mall movie theater!), Huntington Mall has a little something for everyone.

Google Maps

Anchor stores include Field & Stream, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney, T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods, Macy’s, and Old Navy. There’s a Talbots, a Hallmark, a Bath & Body Works, and so much more.

Huntington Mall

In addition to all their shops, restaurants, and services, Huntington Mall offers all kinds of special events and programs for kids and adults.

Huntington Mall / Facebook

Plus, the hundreds of millions of dollars in retail trade that happens here significantly contributes to the tax revenue of the Barboursville community.

Huntington Mall / Facebook

And then there’s the fact that other stores have seen fit to build around this thriving nucleus: West Virginia’s first Best Buy. A Chick-Fil-A. Hotels. Gas stations. Walmart.

To learn more about all the shops and services available at Huntington Mall, head to this massive mall’s website. Have you ever strolled through the long corridors of the largest mall in West Virginia, perusing all the many shopping and entertainment options? Which store here do you come back to again and again? Oh, and while you’re in Barboursville, don’t miss the chance to pop in to this one-of-a-kind retro arcade!

Address: 500 Mall Rd, Barboursville, WV 25504, USA


Early estimates suggest businesses in West Virginia had a strong holiday spending season, more in-person purchasing

by Josiah Cork STAFF WRITER

January 9, 2022


The 2021 holiday shopping season was highly successful thanks to a much higher level of in-person shopping, according to reports.

Shoppers took to the stores during the 2021 holiday shopping season to deliver higher in-person numbers than in the last two years.

Strong Holiday Spending | Shoppers Shopping - AP

AP photo

The final numbers are not yet in for the 2021 holiday season, but officials’ early estimates suggest that businesses in West Virginia enjoyed a strong showing.

“The preliminary indications show that spending was increased over 2020,” said Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“I can tell you … on an anecdotal level, we’re getting very good reports back telling us through word-of-mouth — a lot of the different managers at different retail outlets — they’ve been telling us it was a good season,” said Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Company.

Cafaro Company is a retail real estate company that owns Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport and Huntington Mall.

“They had a lot of good traffic and they had very strong sales for the month of December,” Bell said.

Customers seem to have put effort into their gift-giving, as sales were higher than last year’s holiday season, giving the economy a nice boost heading into the new calendar year.
“So first of all, the spending appears to be up over 2020. The consumers appear to have spent rather liberally. That, of course, helps the economy because over 70% of our economy is connected to consumer spending,” Roberts said. “So we feel that when all the numbers are tallied, we’re going to have had a very good holiday spending season.”

As Roberts noted, data is still being collected from the latest holiday season.

Some sales will even continue to trickle in through returns and gift cards, according to Bell.
“A lot of those sales are going to continue coming over this week and (the week of Jan. 9-15),” he said. “A lot of consumers are going to be using this time for returns or for spending gift cards they received.”

Perhaps the biggest difference between the 2021 and 2020 holiday seasons was that 2021 saw much higher levels of in-person spending compared to massive online sales in 2020.
“Certainly an uptick from last year for sure (for in-person buying). A lot of reports are indicating in many of the retailers that they were seeing better sales than 2019,” Bell said.
“We believe there was more in person spending than last year, but we’re also seeing large gains in online purchasing. So that is certainly keeping the delivery people busy,” Roberts said.
He notes that the demand for online purchases has remained high, which has moved some of the workforce toward deliveries.

“We actually have a decrease in the number of retail workers in West Virginia, and we think that’s largely because of the online purchasing that’s growing in our state,” Roberts said. “Delivery companies are hiring. There’s a great need for truck drivers.”

Because of the much higher in-person shopping in West Virginia, the final numbers for Christmas 2021 spending will likely be promising for businesses, according to Bell.

“Just from what we’re hearing anecdotally from store managers around our properties — around the Meadowbrook Mall, Huntington Mall — it was a very strong holiday season,” Bell said. “Lots of foot traffic. Lots of in-person shopping. I think everyone’s going to be pleased when they tally their final results.”