Former Fairmont, West Virginia Mayor, Community Volunteers Revitalizing Old Mac 612 Building | VM News
FAIRMONT, Va. (WV News) – A group of volunteers, including former Fairmont Mayor Brad Merrifield and the Fairmont Pastoral Alliance, are revitalizing the old 612 MAC building to launch a new community youth program.
The building, located at 609 Madison Street, has been in disrepair for several years, and the group of volunteers took it upon themselves last summer to restore the 111-year-old building to its former glory.
âWe’re bringing him back to life,â Merrifield said. âFor the past four years it has been vacant. There were people who ran it, but for some reason it went wrong. What we want to do is prepare the building where we can next, together with the Pastors Allianceâ¦ start a program for children from all over town to come.
The group first enlisted the help of the Marion County Commission to remove some old trees from the property and are now in the process of remodeling and repairing some aspects of the building’s interior and painting the exterior.
âAs we see things, we make them happen,â said community volunteer Nancy Bickerstaff. âWe only focus on every detail. â¦ It’s the entrance to Rivesville and Bellview and everything, and it should just say, âI’m beautiful.
On Friday, Emcor donated and installed a new furnace in the building and is checking for gas leaks while they do.
âIt’s been so appreciated,â Merrifield said. âThis company really stepped in and helped us here. “
The revitalization effort is expected to be completed in late spring, when the group will start seriously working on the ins and outs of the next youth program to be held in the building.
Merrifield explained that the program will focus on teaching Marion County youth about important life skills and hobbies, ranging from how to balance a checkbook to anti-bullying measures and even art classes. .
âIt won’t be designed to be just a hangout or after-school daycare,â Merrifield said. âWe haven’t established the exact age range yet, but we want to have activities so that they can come and enjoy some of them. We just want to do it right. â¦ If we can help one or two children, it is worth it.
Michael Little, pastor of Good Hope Baptist Church in Barrackville, has been a part of the project from the start and said the Pastoral Alliance also has a vested interest in the program.
âWe want to help the community and everyone in it,â Little said. âEach pastor leaves the next generation better than he has found. â¦ This program only helps the community, and what it does is make a pastor’s job easier. When people understand that there are a lot of other things they can get into instead of violence and drugs, that’s what it is. We want to give young people options.
While details of the new program – including its official name – have yet to be worked out, Merrifield said he hopes the historic building will soon be a place that many young people in the community can see as a second home.
âWe want kids to have a place to come to be proud of, and it’s a fun place to go,â said Merrifield. “(We don’t want them) to go towards something that looks like it’s about to fall.”
Fairmont News Editor-in-Chief John Mark Shaver can be reached at 304-844-8485 or [email protected]