By February 27, 2020 Read More →

Governor Justice requests $2 million in W.Va. state funding for aquatic center at W.Va. State Fair gounds

By Tina Alvey, The Register-Herald

FAIRLEA, W.Va. — Relying on an anticipated cash infusion of up to $2 million from the state, developers of the long-awaited Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center (GVAC) have announced the 22,400-square-foot facility will open in the summer of 2021.

That final $2 million piece of the puzzle will snap into place when — and if — the West Virginia Infrastructure Jobs Development Council votes to approve Gov. Jim Justice’s request for the funding. Justice is confident that affirmative vote will happen “very, very quickly,” he told The Register-Herald at a Wednesday announcement about the funding at the State Fairgrounds.

The governor said the GVAC will bring with it “the benefits of wellness, prosperity and economic growth.”

Fundraising for the project has been ongoing for two years. According to figures provided at Wednesday’s event, more than 330 donors and supporters, representing around 1,100 people, have contributed to the project. Organizers had raised around $4 million prior to the governor’s announcement about the forthcoming $2 million addition.

“I’m proud beyond belief to be able to help get this thing across the finish line to where we will be able to finally get shovels in the dirt and start working on this project,” Justice said in a media release issued following the event at the fairgrounds. “So many people have given their time and their talent — not to mention money out of their own pocket — to make this happen. It’s been a long time coming. Today is really a wonderful day.”

Also speaking at the event was architect and designer TAG Galyean, who is president of the GVAC’s board. He has also been the guiding force behind the aquatic center since its beginnings as a student project at Greenbrier East High School almost five years ago.

“This will make our community a more desirable place to live,” Galyean predicted.

“As we think about economic development in West Virginia, it’s clear to me businesses want to locate where people want to live,” he said, noting that is a reversal from the way it used to be, when he and others had to relocate to where the jobs were. …

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