DOF Provides Working Capital to a State-of-the-Art Aquatic Center in Greenbrier County, WV

In 2021, DOF provided a $500,000 loan to Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center in order to fund startup costs associated with a new nonprofit swimming and aquatic center located in Lewisburg, WV.

GVAC is a new swimming-focused community center serving the residents of a three-county area in southeastern West Virginia. The 22,000 SF building that houses a six lane/25-yard competition pool, a recreation pool, a therapy pool, locker rooms, a senior club room, activities room, classroom, cardi exercise room, and a seasonal terrace with a play area and food and beverage concession.

GVAC is the result of a five-year planning process that started with a business plan conceived by students at Greenbrier East High School and has since garnered the support of the state as well as dozens of community residents who have made over $6 million of donations to make the center possible. A local architect contributed his services as well as committed his time and donated funds to shepherd the project to its current stage. The state contributed land for the facility through a long-term $1 per year ground lease at the state fairgrounds, and has also provided a $2 million grant towards the construction. Several municipalities and boards of education have also submitted letters or proclamations supporting the project, showing evidence of widespread interest in the project’s success.

GVAC supports people with disabilities through programs providing water-based therapy for people with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or both. The high buoyancy of water allows for increased range of motion, reduced risk of injury, and a calming effect particularly for people with autism and other sensory processing disorders. GVAC has demonstrated its commitment to serving people with disabilities by including a designated therapy pool in its design and by fostering relationships with a local college of Osteopathic School of Medicine and Greenbriar Valley Physical Therapy to serve patients as well as the general public. The therapy pool is located in the same area as the recreation pool but is kept at a higher temperature for comfort, and both pools benefit from a building feature that allows a portion of the walls and roof to be opened in good weather to produce an open-air environment.