WHEELING — Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 141 in Wheeling hope to expand its apprenticeship programs and build a new training center across from its headquarters in Elm Grove.
IBEW Local 141 President Glenn Douglass “Doug” Giffin recently appeared before the Wheeling Planning Commission at a public hearing into a zoning change application that will open the door to expansion plans training at their facilities.
The Jack Kemp Training Center and IBEW Local 141 facilities are located at 82 Burkham Court. In December, IBEW purchased the double duplex which is located across the street from the back of their facility at 79 Burkham Court.
Tom Connelly, director of Wheeling’s building and planning department, noted that the property where the vacant duplex is located is zoned R-1C High Density Single Family, and the request to change the zone to C-1 Neighborhood Commercial in would have the same category zoning as the FIOE building.
“This property is located directly behind the IBEW Wheeling Joint Apprenticeship Training Center,” Connelly said. “They’ve acquired the property across the street and they’re asking for permission to tear down the structure and build an additional training facility. The applicant stated that it had outgrown its current installation. »
Connelly noted that the property at 79 Burkham Court is the last property inside the city limits before leaving Wheeling on the adjacent Peter’s Run Road.
“We try to keep our properties as clean and safe as possible,” said Giffin, who is IBEW president and organizer but attended the public hearing as a representative of the committee’s board of directors. IBEW learning.
“We’ve been in this current location since the early 70s,” Giffin said. “We’ve always taken great pride in trying to have a nice neighborhood presence in the community.”
Giffin said IBEW apprenticeship programs are first-class electrical training programs that take place across the country. The local Ohio Valley site is at their office located in Wheeling on the Burkham Court property where the neighborhoods of Triadelphia and Elm Grove meet.
“We’re a bit short of space to train apprentices in the area,” Giffin said. “We have around 50 apprentices. The space we have allows us to teach some electronics work, but when we bring in fellow cablers, we get kind of overcrowded. We train travel wiremen for this area to perform residential, commercial and industrial jobs safely. »
Giffin said IBEW has always strived to be good neighbors to area residents.
“The current property is well lit in the evening and is under video surveillance,” he noted. “The sidewalks are clear of snow and ice.”
Wheeling Councilman Dave Palmer, who is a member of the planning commission, represents Ward 6 where these properties are located. He said he was invited as a ward councilor to tour the facilities there to help get a better idea of what they hope to do.
“It’s a first-class facility,” Palmer said. “They have been good stewards of the neighborhood.”
Giffin also invited other city officials to tour the facilities.
Officials noted that the property in question is already adjacent to properties zoned C-1, so a zone change would not be considered “one-time zoning.”
No one spoke at the public hearing. Planning Commission member Thomas Connor, who is the business manager for IBEW Local 141 and is also a member of the training committee, recused himself and abstained from voting on the zoning request. .
Otherwise, members of the planning commission unanimously agreed to forward a recommendation to approve the zoning request to the city council for consideration at a future meeting.