KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha State Forest will soon open a new facility that will serve several purposes.
The old bathhouse located inside the park has been closed for five years and is now being renovated into a gift shop, conference area, museum and nature center.
“Rather than having an empty shell of a building we wanted to utilize it,” said Kanawha State Forest Park Superintendent Christopher Bartley. “We’ve got a huge parking lot, we got a great view here, so it just made sense for this to become something for people to enjoy.”
The Kanawha State Forest was a project born during the 1930s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”
“Out through here, this is where the CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] camps were, this is where the workers were living,” Bartley said. “Where they were living, this was their life, so we want to be able to bring the past into the present and be able to honor for the future.”
The new facility will cost roughly $30,000 which is being funded by bonds and private funds.
While on the job, park staffers are the ones doing the renovating. The new facility is expected to open mid-August of this year.
“This is something that has been talked about for years and we’re finally starting to see everything really coming together. We’re looking forward to having this be a place where we can see a lot of traffic coming though these doors,” said Bartley.