Heartbreak of Psoriasis
Yesterday WSAZ-TV reported on Kinetic Park in Huntington. As originally envisioned, Kinetic Park was to be a technology park closely connected to Marshall University. Today only a dermatologist’s office and an accounting firm reside on the upper level of the site. Surrounding them is the West Virginia equivalent of sagebrush.
The strangest part of the WSAZ story concerned site infrastructure. Dr. Susan Touma, the on-site dermatologist (an anchor tenant for nerdy technology types?), told the reporter: “We had phone lines put in and a lot of different other things that weren’t in place.” WSAZ went on to report that contractors were just laying cable for TV and high speed internet access yesterday. How on earth can you claim to have a technology park when you don’t even have high speed internet access available on your site? I had always assumed that Kinetic Park had not succeeded because of the lack of needed entrepreneurial talent in Huntington. Now I learn it may have been the lack of internet?
Before anyone in Morgantown laughs about the plight of Huntington’s Kinetic Park, please take a tour of the West Virginia University Research Park on Route 705 in what otherwise is a booming area of Morgantown. According to a November 2002 WVU press release about the Research Park, then Vice President for Research John Weete said: “It is fully expected that the WVU Research Park will become a self-sufficient, cost-effective, world-class center of research, technology development, commercialization and business activity resulting from strong links between the park occupants and the intellectual capital of WVU” … in “multi-tenant buildings totaling approximately 650,000 square feet of space.” This quote is not intended to be a clue to help you locate the site. All I can say is: Look for the West Virginia equivalent of sagebrush. If any place has the sagebrush market cornered, it’s West Virginia University’s Research Park.
As someone will surely tell me, the heartbreak of psoriasis is no laughing matter. We need to figure out why Kinetic Park, WVU’s Research Park and the Dow Technology Center in South Charleston are in their present conditions and what, if anything, we might be able to do to change it.