CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Commission is continuing to work toward putting plans in motion for a Capital Sports Center in downtown Charleston.

During a Special Commission meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, the commission voted to move forward putting out for bids on the architectural services designs for the center.

The commission also accepted a retainer agreement to hire Nick Casey, Esq., as the lawyer for the project. Commissioner Ben Salango says Casey will help the Commission with hiring processes for organizational boards and putting out contract bids to companies.

The City of Charleston and Kanawha County Commission first announced the proposal in August 2022 for the Capital Sports Center, which would be a nearly 255,000 square-foot indoor sports complex including an Olympic size swimming pool. The plan is to build the cemter at the site of the former Macy’s in the Charleston Town Center Mall.

At the time, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said the idea started with a study conducted by the “Huddle Up Group” for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. She said the study showed sports tourism was a $15 billion industry in 2019, and by the time of the announcement, it was up to $40 billion in 2022.

Last year after the announcement, city and county officials hosted a series of public meetings to hear from the community and gather their ideas on the plans for the complex.