WVSOM declares support for Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) formally announced its support for the Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center during an Aug. 16 proclamation signing.
The $6 million, 22,400-square-foot aquatic center, currently in its capital commitment phase, will be an all-ages social and recreational center featuring three swimming areas – a competition pool, a recreation pool and a therapy pool – as well as a cardio room, senior room, classroom, party room, concession area and other amenities. It is projected to open in 2021.

In its proclamation, WVSOM said it supports the Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center for its potential to improve the health of West Virginians. Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the U.S., and aquatic exercise can improve the health of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, all of which have a higher prevalence in West Virginia than in other states. Aquatic exercise can also benefit older adults and mothers and their unborn children.

During the proclamation signing, which took place on WVSOM’s campus, President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., said the school’s support of the center reflects its efforts to work closely with other, similarly aligned organizations.

“For WVSOM, our interest in this is community engagement,” he said. “Part of our mission is to address first and foremost the needs of the citizens of West Virginia by helping them get involved in activities that improve health, so we’re excited about the possibility of working with the center as it becomes a reality. I applaud everyone who is working to make this happen.”

The facility is being developed by the nonprofit Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center Corporation, which so far has received commitments of nearly $2.6 million. The center will be located off U.S. Route 219 in Fairlea, W.Va., on five acres of land provided by the State Fair of West Virginia. It began as a Greenbrier East High School student project during the 2015-16 academic year in collaboration with architect Tag Galyean and engineering teacher Kevin Warfield.

Jamie Hamilton, Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center’s director of community and donor engagement, said the center will profoundly benefit communities throughout the Greenbrier Valley.

“This is far more than a pool,” Hamilton said. “So it’s great to have partners like WVSOM, which has for a long time been one of the best medical schools in the country promoting health and wellness in rural communities. Our missions are so parallel to one another that it’s only natural we found a way to come together. This is a great start to the relationship, and we look forward to all the things that lie in the future.”

Date Added: 
Monday, August 19, 2019