Local Attorney Recognized for Renovation and Restoration Effort

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WOAY) – A local attorney was recognized on Monday for his recent work to renovate a historical building.

“This community has given so much to my law firm and so much to my family,” said Robert Dunlap. “I feel like I had to give something back. The purchase of this building, the renovation, the turning it into where new businesses can make Beckley better… I think that’s all of our obligation, to give back the gifts the town has given us.”

Dunlap has been renovating a five-story building in downtown Beckley during his free time for over a year. He recently finished one floor and has started working on another. Dunlap said the project will likely last a couple more years.

On Monday, he received an award for his beautification efforts.

The building was once home to a newspaper and radio station, but sat empty for the last few decades. Now, Dunlap is turning it into both a commercial and residential space. The first floor has a finished commercial space as well as an apartment. The second floor is still under construction, but will soon have four affordable apartments. What’s in store for the rest of the building is still being decided.

Dunlap expects to finish the next part of his project within the next year.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.