Belmont College Building and Restoration Students Undertake Historic Resource Survey in Wheeling

Students from Belmont College’s Building and Restoration Program (BPR) are getting out of the classroom and into the Wheeling neighborhood of Valley View, WV. Under the guidance of Betsy Sweeny, Director of Programming at Wheeling Heritage, these dedicated students will conduct a historic resource survey as part of their Research and Documentation course.

The Belmont College Building and Restoration Program is renowned for its commitment to preserving and celebrating the rich history embedded in architectural structures. Through hands-on experiences and rigorous academic training, students in the BPR program are equipped with the skills necessary to contribute to the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and structures. While the degree program focuses on hands-on preservation trades, the students also take some classes in historic preservation theory. 

Surveying the Valley View neighborhood in Wheeling will give the students experience conducting an architectural survey and contribute to real-life preservation happening in the Wheeling community. Betsy Sweeny, of Wheeling Heritage, is instructing the course and says, “We [at Wheeling Heritage] are always in a constant state of surveying and nominating historic resources to the National Register. Typically we pursue grant funding and hire a consultant to execute this work, but in this case, we have a great opportunity to work with students to accomplish this goal.” 

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  • Surveying in historic district nominations is crucial as it systematically documents and assesses the architectural, cultural, and historical significance of structures, ensuring informed preservation decisions and the safeguarding of collective heritage.

Surveying historic structures is a crucial step in identifying areas that may be eligible for historic district designation. By documenting and assessing the historical value of buildings in the Wheeling neighborhood, Belmont College students will contribute to a multi-phase survey of the neighborhood. “We won’t be able to take this project and immediately turn it into a historic district nomination, but rather we will be beginning to chip away at a series of steps leading to that goal,” said Sweeny.  

The survey will be conducted from the public right of way, so no residents will be disturbed during the process. The class’s work in Wheeling won’t end there though. Students will visit the Wheeling Room at the Ohio County Public Library, meet with Ohio County Clerk Mike Kelly to learn how to conduct deed research, as well as distill their findings into a piece of content that will be shared with the public. Wheeling Heritage and Belmont Building Preservation and Restoration will share the classwork with the public on

About Belmont College Building and Restoration Program:

The Belmont College Building and Restoration Program is dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the preservation and restoration of architectural heritage. Through a combination of academic coursework and hands-on experiences, the program prepares students to contribute to the conservation of cultural and historical landmarks. The degree program culminates in an associate’s degree in building preservation and restoration.