FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Disability Action Center has started work toward building its new wellness center.  

On Tuesday, demolition company “RECLAIM” began tearing down two houses on the property directly across from the main DAC building on Leonard Avenue. 

DAC client in mini excavator (WBOY Image)

The center’s clients even got in on the work and were supervised by project managers from “RECLAIM” to take down parts of the houses in a mini excavator.  

The space will be used to build the new wellness facility that will have a basketball court, a fitness room, physical therapy space and exam rooms.

“There’s so much that goes into the health and wellness of our clients. People with disabilities often suffer from collateral health issues that aren’t always dealt with because they’re a person with a disability,” Julie Sole, executive director DAC said. “This will give them their own space to work out and feel appreciated and really set and reach their wellness goals.” 

All the demolition work was donated to the DAC by “RECLAIM”  

RECLAIM (WBOY Image)

“It’s great to be a part of the community to be able to help provide these services to folks like Julie (Sole) and the Disability Action Center,” Chase Fitzwater, RECLAIM project manager said. “It’s a new experience two years ago when I started with RECLAIM, demolition was all new to me. I’ve learned a lot and I think it’ll be a good experience.” 

RECLAIM will continue the professional demolition until the end of the year and fundraising for the new wellness center will begin in the winter. Sole said if all funding is secured, they hope to begin construction on the actual facility in Spring 2023. 

“The wellness center means everything to the clients because our whole goal here at the Disability Action Center is to improve the quality of life of our clients. That’s financially, that’s emotionally, that’s educationally, that’s spiritually and we really can’t do it without the fitness center,” Sole said. 

Plans for the DAC Wellness Center (WBOY Image)

The first donation to the wellness center came from Kevin and Donna Wilfong, who the facility will be named after. Sole said Kevin’s mother, Mildred Wilfong, was the first ever director of the DAC, back then it was known as the Arch of Marion County.  

“They saw the future and how, not only, they could honor the past by making such a tremendous donation but how they could help us get to the future with the wellness center,” Sole said about the Wilfong’s.  

The DAC used funds left over from their “Higher Ground” fundraiser to buy the properties that the wellness center will be built on.  

DAC clients at Wellness Center site during demolition (WBOY Image)

In June 2021, the old DAC center located on Kirckway Drive flooded during a multi-day rainstorm, destroying much of the inside. After that, Sole began fundraising to buy a new facility and move to “higher ground” for less of a risk of flooding.  

In April 2022, they cut the ribbon to the new facility on Leonard Ave, which is directly across the street from where the new “DAC Wilfong Wellness Facility” will be built.