Employees at Health Plan on the job

WHEELING — Several parking spaces on the site of the Health Plan’s new downtown Wheeling headquarters filled up Wednesday as about 60 employees worked their first day inside the estimated $16 million facility.

“It was a pretty smooth transition as far as I could tell,” Wendy Hodorowski, the company’s marketing director, said as she neared the end of her first day in the new 53,000-square-foot building in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets. “Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration picked up our equipment in St. Clairsville, and they had it set up here for us in the morning.”

Workers from Colaianni Construction continue putting the finishing touches on the four-story structure and the surrounding grounds. Because of the ongoing work, Hodorowski said tours of the facility will not be available until early 2018.

On Wednesday, Hodorowski said by the end of January, about 350 company employees should occupy the new building. These workers will join approximately 75 employees of the Health Plan at the former Horne’s building at the corner of 11th and Main streets, totalling about 425 full-time workers in the block.

“It is still a work in progress. Our goal is to have everyone in by the end of January,” she said.

Hodorowski said normal business hours when the facility is open to the public will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, although some employees are expected to begin working as early as 6 a.m. The office will not be open to those planning to make payments on bills, she said. Instead, there will be a “lock box” into which customers can deposit payments.

“We have people parking all over Wheeling,” Hodorowski said. “A lot of our people are into physical fitness, so walking won’t be a problem for many of them.”