Metropolis of Montgomery comes collectively to amass health heart


MONTGOMERY, WV (WOAY) – “It’s something I want to build a lot more friendships on and invest a lot of time in,” said Wyatt Coleman, a strong believer in the building.

“Hopefully we can show people that this community wants this place back, just like me.”

The former Neal D Baisi Athletic Center may be just a building for the groups who left it, but for the city of Montgomery, it’s a place of community, well-being, memories, and plenty of potential.

Once a fitness venue for WVU Tech and then YMCA, residents still have plenty to use the building for, and they come together to see the vision.

“We hope to get some attention so people can see this is here, we want it to open, and we will support it,” said Lou Ann Bowmen of the Montgomery Park Board.

In its prime, the fitness center offered swimming lessons, scuba diving, archery, and many other activities, and guests from across Fayette and Kanawha counties came to take part.

But after 20 years of neglecting the work the building needs to bring it back up to scratch, it is now calling for the help of the community to save it.

“It was just a real void, and we feel like the state has abandoned us,” says Bowmen.

The city promises to operate the building if it can raise the funds needed to do so, which is currently pending approval from the governor’s office, but with the entire community gathering, the vision for the center could soon become a reality.

The doors of the fitness center were open to the community all day on Saturday and people could come in, write down their ideas for the potential of the building, and take part in the activities.

The city of Montgomery encourages citizens to contact the governor’s office and let them know why the sports center should remain open.

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