Construction for Mountaineer Center is Underway

Photo Provided Construction for the Mountaineer Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown is underway. It will serve as the future home of the West Virginia state swim meet.

MORGANTOWN — High school swimmers take note: construction on the new Mountaineer Center, a community wellness facility at Mylan Park in Morgantown that will serve as the future home of the West Virginia state swim meet, is underway.

The estimated $40 million, state-of-the-art center will be home for West Virginia University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving and track and cross-country teams. It also is expected to serve as the home pool for Morgantown High School.

The center, which will be owned by the Mylan Park Foundation, will open in two phases, with the track and field venues scheduled for fall of 2018 and the aquatic area in spring of 2019.

“This project will be an important addition as Monongalia County and the surrounding area continues to grow as one of the best places to live in the United States,” said Stephen B. Farmer, trustee of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, which donated $15 million to the project.

Mylan Park Executive Director Greg Morris said, “This project is the dream come true of many people in this community. It would not have happened without the support of West Virginia University, Monongalia County Commission, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, and a cross section of area business and sports communities.”

The center will be located on 55 acres in Mylan Park, a multi-use sports and event complex just off Interstate 79. The West Virginia Division of Highways is also considering improving access to the area from a newly opened exit on I-79.

The track-and-field complex will have an eight-lane competition track with state of the art running surface; areas for long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, hammer throw, discus throw, javelin throw, running & hurdling; and a scenic cross-country trail. In addition, there will be a walking track available to the community.

There will be seating for more than 1,000 spectators along with a ticket booth, press box, restroom and concessions facilities.

The 90,050-square-foot aquatic center will have a competition 50-meter, eight-lane pool, and a separate competition diving pool with 1- and 3-meter springboards and 1-, 3-, 5-, 7.5- and 10-meter diving platforms. There will be seating for more than 1,200 spectators.

In addition, there will be an indoor recreation pool, with a slide and play area, as well as an outdoor splash, patio and cardio area.

“This center is important for several reasons,” said Shane Lyons, associate vice president and director of WVU intercollegiate athletics. “Not only does it significantly improve the university’s swimming, diving, cross country and track programs, it also provides an important addition to the recreational options in Monongalia County and beyond.

“This shows what can be accomplished when several groups sit down together and look at the big picture of what can be accomplished through cooperation for the betterment of the entire community.”

It’s not just WVU which benefits from the new complex, as it will also be available to the community, and provide missing pieces to recreational as well as high school athletes.

WVU has already begun work on attracting marquee events to Morgantown.

“We’re already looking to host the Big 12 swimming and diving championships in 2020.” said Vic Riggs, WVU’s swimming and diving coach. “With this new facility, the impact on recruiting and the future of our program will be felt immediately. It truly is a facility that will make WVU, the swimming and diving program and our community better. I want to thank all that were involved to make this happen and we will make them proud.”

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