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More light shed on plans to turn empty building into indoor mountain biking park

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 9:55 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The organizers behind the effort to turn the E. Best Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. building into an indoor mountain biking park are shedding more light on their plans.

Dr. Darin Thomas said the 54,000 square foot building located at 628 Jersey Street is not only a perfect space for people of all ages and skill levels to have fun and get some exercise but will also become the headquarters of Promoting Health And Service Together, an organization he and his wife founded in 2009 when they we’re going to medical school in Las Vegas.

“We thought if we could merge this need of all these empty buildings and physical activity, it fit right in with our mission statement of promoting health and service together,” Thomas said.

Thomas said his family moved to Quincy seven years ago. Having organized triathlons with community service portions during their time in Nevada, Thomas said they wanted to do something similar in the Tri-States.

Now the father of four young daughters, Thomas said the idea to transform the warehouse came about as a solution to a problem.

“I realized every winter was very rough because there is not a whole lot of options for kids out here during the winter,” he said. “Midwest winters are hard, they’re cold and as wonderful as Quincy is, there’s not a whole lot of options.”

In addition to giving people something to do during the winter, Thomas said the PHAST Tracks Indoor Mountain Bike Park will also be a center for social service.

He said one space is a rest area specifically dedicated to social service projects for those who need a break.

“When they’re in between riding or want to take a break, we’re going to team up with local charities and international charities that we already have relationships with to provide service projects that are short and meaningful,” Thomas said.

He said they will also partner with local vendors to stock what he calls giving machines, vending machines where purchases double as a donation to various causes.

“So you’ll purchase a bottle but it’ll also donate the amount of a chicken or a goat or bunk beds or books for kids in a school,” Thomas said.

He said, right now, they’re focusing on demolition, the first of six phases all expected to take around two months each.

“It’s got a lot of shelving and so we have to take all that shelving down and all that wood will be repurposed,” Thomas said. “We want to create as much space as we can.”

He said they want to invite volunteers to help with the demolition and building process.

“Hopefully, this going to be built by the community,” Thomas said.

He said those interested can reach out to them on Facebook, by email or on Instagram.

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