Baseball Field To Get Upgrades

Wheeling Park High School’s baseball field will get $250,000 in upgrades, with much of the costs and work being donated by businesses in the community.

The Ohio County Board of Education met Thursday at Elm Grove Elementary School and unanimously approved a proposal to construct new dug outs, a backstop, concession stand and a press box at the high school. Often the baseball team has played games when temperatures were below freezing, and the new structures will be heated, explained WPHS baseball coach Mike McLeod.

“This is an opportunity for us to put a great facility next to the (J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center),” he said.

Board members approved the project, and allocated a maximum of $80,000 for the upgrades to cover the cost of materials, said board president James Jorden. Members said they were impressed local construction companies and businesses already had stepped forward to provide much of the needed labor, equipment and costs.

“The overwhelming majority of the funds are coming from the community,” Jorden said. “You have the donors in place, the plans in place and are committed to the project … We were going to improve on the facilities anyway. This just allows us to do it at a higher level, and involve the community.”

Money committed by Ohio County Schools comes from carryover funds from last year’s budget and will not cut into any services provided by the school district to students, he continued.

“We will look for additional donors,” Jorden said. “We’re not opposed to offering naming rights, just like we did with the performing arts center.”

In another matter, members of the Wheeling Park High School golf team, winners of the 2013 state championship, also were honored by the school board. It was the team’s third state title in the past four years.

Coach Don Headley also noted the golf team’s members have a combined 3.7 grade point average which, “is more important than a state championship.”