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New Wheeling Park High School Athletic Field Is Almost Ready for Use

File Photo by Joselyn King Ohio County Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones updates board of education members on plans for a new multi-purpose athletic field at Wheeling Park High School.

The new athletic field at Wheeling Park High School now has electric service, and should be ready for use after this week.

Electric is needed to power the field lighting, sound booth, and restroom lights at the field.

American Electric Power brought power to the field last week, according to Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones.

“We’re basically done now,” he said. “We have several training sessions on the field scheduled for this week. One is for the electric because we haven’t used it yet. Another is on maintaining and caring for the turf.

“By the end of this week, we should be able to use the turf as we want to.”

The school had hoped to have the field open and available for the fall sports season, which is now nearly over.

“It’s just a weird time,” Jones said. “It probably won’t be used over the winter — except maybe for some soccer, lacrosse, or (physical education classes). The big time will be in the spring, when we have softball, travel soccer and whatever comes up.”

The school district also will be partnering with The Highlands Sports Complex when it has a tournament to assume any spillover games at the athletic field, according to Jones.

Following some excavation work, the field is now 65 yards wide to make it large enough to accomodate soccer tournaments. The Casto and Baker construction firm received the bid to build the field for just over $2 million — about $500,000 less than was budgeted for the project.

A scoreboard was included in the package, as well as dugouts, a press box and a concession stand.

The project is part of the $42.2 million bond issue approved by voters in 2018.

With the addition of the athletic field and major upgrades to the school’s track area, the next project may be to put new turf on the existing baseball field.

But Jones said the school district first needs a “ballpark estimate” on what the project will cost. After this, a committee will be established to determine a strategy for purchasing the turf.

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