West Virginia Department of Commerce Ashley King

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Ashley King

West Virginia The Place to Be

Ashley King
Trinity Works, Mount Hope

Ashley KingAshley King grew up in Charleston. She left the state to study civil engineering, and pursued her Master’s in construction engineering and management at New York University. Upon graduating, she had the chance to join a big New York construction firm or return to West Virginia to help build The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, the future home of The Boy Scouts of America’s Jamboree in Fayette County. She decided overnight, piled all of her belongings in a rental van, drove home and started work on Monday.

My Job: I couldn’t have picked a more exciting job to work on. This is an iconic project.

At Trinity Works, we act as the development manager, overseeing the design process and construction for The Bechtel Summit. We work with land planners, architects and engineers to develop the grading plan and the roadways. We bring them to our Mount Hope offices and brainstorm in design charettes. What does this property need to look like? What do we need to do to accommodate 50,000 scouts and their families who will come?

As the assistant project manager, I develop schedules and monitor budgets and cash flows. I get to wear many hats, which lets me grow in my career. I know the project inside and out, not just one aspect.

New Opportunities: I’m really excited to watch how The Bechtel Summit impacts the economy in this part of the state. At the 2010 Jamboree, the budget for ice was a quarter of a million dollars. If you think about the ice and what a small piece of the whole event that is – just imagine the impact on the small businesses in the community. It’s really exciting. Putting on the Jamboree is the equivalent of mobilizing a city the size of Charleston for 10 days. I’m really excited to see how all of that plays out logistically, when we start hosting the event in 2013.

During non-Jamboree years, the site will be a summer camp and a high-adventure base camp. We anticipate this being a world-class high adventure camp. The Boy Scouts have never built anything like this before. This is state of the art, one of a kind – and it accommodates their needs for a national or world event.

Previously, the property was strip mined. We are working with the lay of the land as it is to reclaim it as usable space. It is very important to the Boy Scouts that Trinity Works insist upon contractors building in a sustainable way. The Scouts have a 100-year master plan for this – it will go forward to future generations who will be able to come and enjoy the New River Gorge.

My West Virginia Connection: When I weighed my decision of staying in New York versus coming home, I realized I’d have a better quality of life here. New York is fun – but it is exhausting and it can really wear on you after a while. To commute five miles it took 45 minutes. It’s hard to save money or own property there. It’s much more comfortable here. You can build a life.

My Favorite Places: I appreciate the high adventure atmosphere of Fayetteville. There are fun, thrill-seeking people of all ages here. There’s a great vibe and a good sense of community.

In the summers, I love Summersville Lake. It is so beautiful, and everyone on the lake is so friendly. In the winters, I love to ski in Canaan Valley. The area is so peaceful. And when I feel like being pampered, the Greenbrier Resort is always a nice get away.

West Virginia’s Best Kept Secret: The food is great here. We have great restaurants here that don’t get the credit or fame of bigger cities. Believe it or not, I always looked forward to coming back to WV for the food, even when I was living in New York City.