CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Cadets training to join the ranks of the state and local law enforcement now have a new place to get fit for duty.
The physical training center at the West Virginia State Police Academy opened for use in March to the delight of those used to doing fitness training in the academy's old aircraft hangar. Construction on the building started last fall.
The new structure is about 12,000 square feet and houses a gymnasium and a padded room for physical combat training, a weight room and a cardio training room.
"This building has been a long time coming," said Capt. David Lee, director of training at the academy. "Superintendents and commandants for the last 25 to 30 years have tried to get a facility like this and we're just very fortunate the Purdue Pharma Asset helped us finance this project."
Troopers gave members of the local media a tour of the facility Tuesday as part of the State Police media day.
The structure cost about $1.85 million. About $100,000 was spent on equipment.
The building is the last project to be funded by the portion of the Purdue Pharma asset settlement that was allocated to the State Police, Sgt. Michael Baylous said.
The State Police received about $44 million of the $274 million settlement reached in 2004 between federal prosecutors and Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin.
Lee said a large part of the State Police's portion of the asset settlement went to training.
"It's definitely satisfying to see that money being used to benefit law enforcement for years to come," Lee said.
"The officers who brought that settlement about have done a lot of good for law enforcement in the state of West Virginia especially with the money we've got here," he said. "The money spent here at the academy not only benefits the State Police but all law enforcement in West Virginia and will be benefiting law enforcement for years to come."
The settlement money has paid for several remodeling projects at the academy. Each of the three building on campus had their stucco facades replaced with brick; central air and heating was installed in all of the buildings; and a new shooting range was built just up the hill from the main campus.
The remodeling cost a little more than $4 million.