12 News - WBOY
The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission is partnering with the Town of White Hall to make a dream a reality.
The two want to build a conference center for large events, a multi-purpose gym for indoor and outdoor sports, and an adjacent hotel on site. The gym would include floor surfaces that are able to be changed for different activities.
The facility will not include a fitness center, as Michalski said they do not want to compete with local businesses in White Hall.
"MCPARC is really lacking in indoor facilities. We have to beg, borrow and steal from colleges or from schools or wherever to get an indoor facility," said Tony Michalski, director of MCPARC.
Right now, they are searching for bids to do a needs assessment and feasibility study. This will give them info about things like costs, revenue, the possible size of the complex and the need for jobs. They will also interview stakeholders in the White Hall area as well as residents, to see if there is a need for the complex.
"With MCPARC, we want to try and make it as free and as open to the pubic as we can too. We see it as a huge benefit to the county, not only recreational activities but physical exercise and activity," Michalski said.
Not only would a combined facility like this be new to Marion County, but Michalski said it would be unique to North Central West Virginia.
"There’s conference centers around. There’s somewhat rec centers around but nothing combining the two of them together in one location," Michalski said.
White Hall Mayor Guy Ward said they plan to use excess hotel/motel tax revenue to help fund the project.
"I think this is a good way to use our resources and our revenue in a positive manner," Ward said.
For now, no location is set. Until the research is complete, Ward said it is a game of hurry up and wait.
"We're anxious to find out ourselves. It’s kind of like waiting for Christmas to happen," Ward said.
The feasibility study and needs assessment should take about three months. They should know by the end of summer whether the project can move award.
Original article: http://www.wvalways.com/story/31706805/town-of-white-hall-mcparc-propose-recreation-and-conference-center#.Vw4hfdxd7JI.facebook