There are probably worse commutes.
The General Services Administration has launched an online auction for Sugar Grove Station in Pendleton County, West Virginia — 170 miles southwest of D.C. The 122.85-acre campus formerly served as the Naval Information Operations Command, until its decommission in September 2015.
Sugar Grove, bordered to the west by the South Fork South Branch Potomac River, is being pitched as ideal for a corporate training center, academic campus, spa or clinic, a movie studio or a mountain resort. It is, per the GSA, “a wonderfully maintained, practically self-sustaining community nestled in the West Virginia mountains.” The George Washington National Forest is seven miles away.
The winning bidders gets 80 single-family homes on “lovely tree-lined streets,” a three-story, 45,424-square-foot building with 53 small suites, industrial kitchen and dining room, a 20,000-square-foot public works building with gymnasium, a six-bay fire station, car wash, gas station, sewage treatment plant, community center with fireplace, large playground, swimming pool, running track, football/soccer fields, and basketball, tennis and racquetball courts.
“This and much more comprise this wonderful fenced community,” the GSA writes on the auction website.
The auction opened on Feb. 9, but so far, there are no bidders. There is no closing date for the auction.
The facility, estimated to have a value upward of $200 million, had previously been offered to the West Virginia Department of Corrections for conversion into a women's prison, but Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin rejected it, citing the cost. Olathe, Kansas-based KVC Health Systems Inc. has long expressed an interest in the campus, for use as a community college for youth aging out of West Virginia's foster care system. A pair of West Virginia state senators recently introduced a resolution urging the GSA to support the KVC ....
The Navy’s presence at Sugar Grove started 61 years ago, when the Naval Research Laboratory selected the site for a 600-foot parabolic antenna. When that project was ditched in 1962, West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd lobbied President John F. Kennedy to find a new use for Sugar Grove. The campus was formally commissioned in May 1969 as “the Navy’s ear.”
Now it can be yours.