Residents angered over confirmed destruction of historic Opera House

'DODDRIDGE COUNTY", W.Va (WDTV) -- Commissioners in West Union have made the decision to tear down the old Historic Silas P. Smith Opera House, but have left certain residents upset and some very angry.

The plan is to demolish the Opera house and build a new Courthouse annex in its place.

WDTV met up with Kay at Jackie's Home Cookin' restaurant to ask about the situation.

"You pave paradise and put up a parking lot, it's called Big Yellow Taxi," sang Doddridge County resident, Janice Kay.

Kay says this is the perfect theme song for the situation.

"You don't know what you got until its gone."

Kay says the worst part is that many residents, like herself, voted to have the building restored.

"They had a public meeting to discuss whether it should be torn down and they even put out a poll I believe, and the popular public opinion was that it was a valuable building and it needed to be restored, " explained Kay.

But says the commissioners seemed to disregard the public's opinion.

"'Ok fine, ya know we'll do what we need to do to restore it' and then they had a secret meeting that they didn't tell anyone about and decided to tear it down.

Kay explained that the residents were shocked upon reading the news of the building's set destruction in their local newspaper a few days after the public meeting.

"There was an article in the Harold Record Paper about it being torn down, it was like 'what, excuse me, wait a minute, they were gonna restore it'.They didn't want to save the building that's the...the local people wanted it, they didn't, they're gonna do what they want," said Kay.

WDTV reached out to the Doddridge County Commission by phone and even stopped by the town's City Hall, where an employee confirmed the demolition, but none of the commissioners were available for comment.

However, some resident responses to a Facebook post about the building suggest that the decision came down to how much it would cost the town to keep the building, as well as bring it up to modern safety inspection codes.

Kay says she understands the need for the Courthouse annex, but that she and many other residents hate seeing another part of the town's history demolished

"I understand what's driving them, but I don't think it should always be about money, money is important but it's not the only thing, our heritage is important and once that buildings gone we can't ever get it back and we've lost so much already," Kay explained sadly.

According to residents, the Opera House will be demolished on November 13th.