Fairmont officials said they will take every opportunity possible to get their local university involved in community projects.
Community leaders have recently partnered up with volunteers and students at Fairmont State University for the revitalization of the Fifth Street Park.
Multiple grants from Community Compact and support from the community have allowed FSU students and city officials to begin to transform the Fifth Street Park back into what it used to be.
"I was there in the early 1980's and since then there really hasn't been a lot of money to go back into the city parks," said Matthew Schmuck of Fairmont State University. "Not only fifth street, but all of the parks have been run down over the past 20 years."
FSU and the City of Fairmont create partnerships that will positively impact the college, as well as the community as a whole.
"You have the university here with all of the talented faculty that's here," said Fairmont City Planner Kathy Wyrosdick. "You have that talent being taught to very talented and capable students. As a community we need to tap into that resource."
Students and city staff have worked together to clean and mulch the park.
They have installed a new putting green, swing set, and play structure at the park.
"We added the play equipment for the younger kids who were frequent with the park and they came back," Wyrosdick said. "Marion County Parks and Recreation started their summer program back at Fifth Street Park after a five year absence there because of all of the work that we've done."
But they still aren't even close to done.
Phase three includes renovating the park's old basketball court.
It will be West Virginia's first and only public outdoor rubberized basketball court.
"Whenever you're doing a project there is always those unforeseen things but its right around $20,000 to $25,000 for the entire thing," Schmuck said.
Officials said those who would like to be involved in the project at Fifth Street Park can do so by participating in a fundraiser.
Fairmont State University will hold an elimination dinner at Westchester Village on December 15th at 6 P.M.
Tickets are $25 and include dinner, dessert, and beverages.
To purchase a ticket, you can contact Matt Schmuck at 304-367-4984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.