A group called Reinvent Wheeling is working with several business and organization representatives across the state of West Virginia about conversations and ideas of how to create a strong and thriving community.
The group is not focusing on creating what ‘once was’, rather, what will be used now and into the future.
“It’s never going to be a retail hub like it was in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s coming up with ideas of how we can make Wheeling something for the 21st Century. We need to get more people living downtown, we need to see more shops, more restaurants, nightlife,” said Glenn Elliott, founder of Market Street Now.
Reinvent Wheeling tries to focus on the beauty, activities and opportunities available in Wheeling, especially for the younger generation. “I think a lot of people, myself included, that moved away in that 20, 30, 40 age range, I think they’re looking for reasons to come back,” Elliott said.
Group member Jake Dougherty said Wheeling is a place where you can play a large role in your community. “It’s a place where you can grow professionally if you’re aggressive there’s that chance and it’s a great place to live.”
There are a number of ways to get involved if you are interested in being part of the conversation of how to highlight and improve your community. “Everybody is welcome, they can go to whatsnextwv.org. It is the website where the locations and the times of the community discussions will be posted. Then we’re going to try and knit together some themes and general ideas that come out for the State as a whole,” said Betty Knighton, the Center for Civic Life Director.
Reinvent Wheeling is a relatively new initiative that was created in June. Group members are happy to report it keeps growing.