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Virginia Public Broadcasting
By Jessica Y. Lilly
Future plans for development of The Summit are discussed by Bob Muzzuca (Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America) and Sharon Cruikshank (Director of Fayette County Chamber of Commerce). The first phase is for the 2013 Jamboree.
(Podcast Text Version)
Work is right on schedule for the development of
The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, officials say,
but they're not the only ones preparing.
In order to make the National Scout Jamboree a reality for 2013, leaders of the Boy Scouts of America say there is still a mountain of work to do.
Funding is a large part of the project. The first phase, preparing the Jamboree, is expected to cost $170 million.
The financial progress began with a donation from the Bechtel Family Foundation. Bob Mazzuca Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America, he says another large part of the project is moving dirt.
”We're just starting,” Mazzuca said. “We are just now getting to the rough grade."
"The final grading needs to be done. We need to put in the sub camp facilities where when the kids come in, they will be camped and housed. We need to put in the toilets. We need to put in power. There will be some structures that need to be built to support early on in the operation, and then going forward, there will a lot more vertical structures that will be required to house high adventure.”
The Boy Scouts purchased land and mineral rights from Massey Energy to secure the Fayette County property.
Massey followed with a donation of $500,000. Consol Energy, also a coal company, donated $15 million towards the construction of a pedestrian bridge.
Mazzuca says 10,600 acres of land is a former mountaintop removal site, inactive since the early 1980's.
”I think this is a perfect, a wonderful example of taking a former mining operation and doing it not to just reclaim but actually converted it into a laboratory of sustainability for the environment," he said.
"So we're really excited about the potential of doing some things there that will ongoing, be an educational opportunity for young people to come and see what can happen if you intentionally take care of the environment that you are in.”
The property lies adjacent to the New River Gorge National Park along the borders of Mt. Hope and Glen Jean.
Mazzuca says 90 percent of the labor, such as timbering, has gone to West Virginia contractors and 30 percent of them are from the Fayette County region.
And when The Summit is complete, Mazzuca says the Boy Scouts of America is expected to employ close to a 1,000 seasonally and a 100 on a permanent basis.
”I think also we will become a resource for local people to participate in some of the things and offerings that are there that are going to be ether on the property," he said. "There will be opportunities to visit for people use the facility and become part and partial part of the attraction."
Sharon Cruikshank, Director of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, says businesses are also gearing up for the arrival of the scouts.
”I think businesses as a whole are looking to how they can better serve the scouts and the scout family," she said. "So what those needs are when they come in and of course the scouts will be at the summit and then their families of course will be out in the community."
"So I think it will just actually follow a lot of what they do for tourists."
She expects the Summit to help the area continue to grow."
”There will probably be new hotels and restaurants that pop up," she said. "We’ve been growing and developing for several years and I think this will just continue to happen in Southern West Virginia."
As Phase Two of the project, the Boy Scouts of America has committed to building a high adventure camp. That's expected to cost close to $300 million.