WEIRTON - Despite experiencing water damage to approximately one-third of its club house more than a month ago, Williams Country Club is expected to reopen later this week.
Crews have been at the country club for much of the last few weeks, performing restoration work throughout the building, but according to Williams officials the work will be finished by Friday, just in time for the annual Valentine's Day dinner.
Country Club Board President David Vallina explained the work was needed following an overnight break in the club house's fire suppression system in early January.
The Williams Country Club board room was among those areas damaged by water in January. Repairs and restoration work is near complete to it and other parts of the clubhouse, according to officials. -- Craig Howell
Several rooms on the southern one-third of the club house experienced damage as a result of the water line break in January. Work crews have been on-site around the clock, however, to make the needed repairs, according to club officials. -- Craig Howell
"It pumped water through a four-inch line for about eight to 10 hours," Vallina said.
The damage began on the building's top floor, in an area used as guest rooms, with water running down through the floor onto the main level and then onto the lower level where the locker rooms are located.
Light fixtures were found on the floor, with ceilings falling in some spots, walls and flooring damaged and other amenities needing various work as a result.
Vallina noted the country club usually is closed in January anyway, so, in a way, it was a stroke of luck for the damage to be done when it was.
"It was an unfortunate incident, but if there was a good time it was now," he said.
On Friday, as crews worked to both restore the damaged areas and take care of regular maintenance, Vallina wanted to assure members and visitors the country club will be back in full operation soon.
"We'll be up and running next Friday for Valentine's," he said.
Linda Staffilino, a member of the country club's house committee, expressed appreciation to Tim Pestian, owner of Vapor Jet; Tom Banketas, who coordinated the various work crews; board member Dick Sakara and Assistant Golf Pro Jason Smoljanovich for all their work.
Along with the restoration work, a few other changes have taken place at Williams Country Club in the last month, as Hampton Golf was brought in Jan. 19 to manage the operations.
"We're really excited about it," Staffilino explained, noting the club's board will still make all of the decisions, and the company will implement them. "We're still a functioning club."
The management company will be responsible for marketing and membership programs to provide value to the services offer to club members.
In addition, Domenic Pulice, a Weirton native and Madonna High School graduate, has been hired as the club's new executive chef. Pulice's prior experience includes stints at Club Colony Restaurant, Pittsburgh Grill and Sports Bar, Church Hill Valley Country Club, Cafe Euro and Lemont Restaurant, where he was named sous chef at the age of 20 and the youngest member of Lemont's management in the restaurant's history.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)