Randolph County Board Votes to Fund Athletic Facilities

At the Randolph County Board Of Education (BOE) meeting on Tuesday, December 7th, members discussed and voted on the approval of the new turf and track. During the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, Steve Wamsley–the Principle of Tygarts Valley High School (TVHS)– talked about TVHS’s need for a new gymnasium–a project that requires close to five million dollars.

Soon after, Elkins High School Athletic director Ross Ware spoke about the three-phase plan for an athletic facility, something that has been in the works since the demolition of Wimer football stadium. Ware says the plans are necessary for the safety of student-athletes. “The field didn’t drain enough for soccer alone, let alone adding 6 more teams on it, including football players who are great at tearing up the grass. It was a necessary move for the next season.”

Later in the meeting, while the board was discussing the issue, Lisa Wamsley pushed for the vote to be moved to the next meeting–where engineers and architects, along with representatives from TVHS, will come to discuss the plan for the construction of a new gymnasium. BOE member Amanda Smith agreed, while Melodee Price thought that postponing the vote would delay the building process. After a motion failed to push the vote back, BOE members Price, Rachel Anger, and Janie Newlon voted yes on the project– making it pass on a count of 3-2.

Multiple groups of students, teachers, and coaches attended the meeting, including football, women’s, and men’s soccer players. One attendee, Kennan Ferguson–a player on the EHS Men’s Soccer team–anxiously awaited the decision. “I was nervous during the meeting while they were discussing the vote. I think it’s really important that we get a new facility so that all of our teams can play on a good field.” Ferguson said.

The new astroturf and track are estimated to be completed in time for next year’s fall sports season.