Aquatic Center advocates and Gov. Justice confident board will approve request for $2 million

FAIRLEA, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice traveled to Fairlea on Wednesday to announce that he has requested $2 million to build the Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center. 

The center needed $6 million to start construction and Governor Justice is hopeful this will get them over the finish line.

This project started as an idea in a Greenbrier East High School pre-engineering class with mentor architect Tag Galyean  in 2016 and may soon become a 22,000-square-foot reality. 

“The facility’s going to be a really first class facility with a competition pool, a recreation pool, therapy pool, a senior’s club room, activities and party room, a classroom and obviously the outdoor sun terrace,” Galyean said. 

Governor Justice requested the money from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and that still has to be approved by the board, but the governor and the aquatic center’s board are confident this will happen. 

“I mean, I’ve been all in for a long time, but we just had to find the right mechanism and the right timing to be able to do it,” Gov. Justice said. 

For the center’s board, who has raised $4 million from the community with 330 donations, now is when the work truly begins as they transfer from a fundraising stage to a developmental one. 

Jamie Hamilton has been a major part of those efforts as the director of community and donor engagement.

“It’s going to be a lot of work over the next, you know, year-and-a-half to get this thing ready, but we’re planning on swimming next month and feel very optimistic that that’s going to happen,” Hamilton said. 

Gov. Justice said this will be great not just for the area, which has not had a swimming facility in 20 years, but the region as it will attract more people to live there.

The aquatic center is expected to be built on the state fairgrounds next to the parking lot.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.