FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Action Center for People with Disabilities has started work on the construction of its new wellness center.
On Tuesday, the demolition company “RECLAIM” began demolishing two homes on property directly across from the main DAC building on Leonard Avenue.
The clients of the center even got involved in the work and were under the supervision of the project manager from “RECLAIM” in order to demolish parts of the houses with a mini excavator.
The space will be used to build a new wellness facility that will have a basketball court, fitness room, physical therapy area and examination rooms.
“So much of it is about the health and well-being of our clients. People with disabilities often suffer from collateral health issues that are not always addressed because they are disabled,” said Julie Sole, DAC Executive Director. “This will give them their own space to exercise and feel valued and really set and achieve their wellness goals.”
All demolition work was donated to DAC by “RECLAIM”
“It’s great to be a part of the community to be able to help provide these services to people like Julie (Sole) and the Disability Action Center,” said Chase Fitzwater, RECLAIM Project Manager. “It’s a new experience two years ago when I started with RECLAIM, demolition was new for me. I learned a lot and I think it will be a good experience.”
RECLAIM will continue professional demolition until the end of the year, and fundraising for the new wellness center will begin in the winter. Sole said they hope to begin construction on the facility in the spring of 2023 if all funding is secured.
“The wellness center means everything to the clients because our whole goal here at the Action Center for People with Disabilities is to improve the quality of life of our clients. It’s financial, it’s emotional, it’s educational, it’s spiritual and we really can’t do it without the fitness center,” Sole said.
The first donation to the wellness center came from Kevin and Donna Wilfong, after whom the facility will be named. Sole said Kevin’s mother, Mildred Wilfong, was the first director of the DAC, which was then known as the Arch of Marion County.
“They saw the future and how, not only could they honor the past by making such a huge donation, but help us move into the future with the wellness center,” Sole said of the Wilfongs.
DAC used funds left over from their “Higher Ground” fundraiser to purchase real estate on which to build the wellness center.
In June 2021, the old DAC center located on Kirckway Drive flooded during a multi-day rainstorm, destroying much of the interior. After that, Sole started raising funds to buy a new facility and move to “higher ground” due to less risk of flooding.
In April 2022, they cut the ribbon for the new facility on Leonard Ave, located directly across the street from where the new “DAC Wilfong Wellness Facility” will be built.