New HS Track brings hope for the Hampshire Community

West Virginia

"Board of Education isn't donating any funds, it's all the Bank of Romney and the community."

ROMNEY, W.Va. (WDVM) — For over thirty years, Hampshire High School’s football field and track hasn’t been renovated, until now.

“The plan has evolved from a thought, to this thing could possibly happen to we’re closing on it now, we are in the final home stretch of it now,” said Hampshire High School Athletic Director Trey Stewart.

With the help of the Hampshire community and the Bank of Romney, $1.3 million have been funded to reconstruct an entirely new track stadium.

“We are going to have a new synthetic track, on the far end where we’ll have our long jump and high jump areas for track.” said Stewart. “Then interior is going to be completely turf, new soccer goals, new field goal posts, it’s going to be from the oval in.”

The Bank of Romney set up a 15-year sinking fund to pay 52% of the entire bill and the community is expected to help fundraise the rest.

“Right, it will be here for generations to come.” said Tom Williams, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Romney. “I remember when I was back in high school, I wasn’t a great athlete but I played in sports. I’ve always felt like it’s taught me a lot of things and I want to give back to the youth of this county.”

The community can contribute through the ACH process, in which, basically a person, family or business can pay a certain amount per month. Varsity Soccer Player Andrew Strawn is currently donating personal funds for his home field.

“I feel like the turf field would give us a sense of pride knowing this is our home field, this is what we get to play on,” said Strawn. “Getting to say ‘this is our field, this is what we helped get this done’, it would be pretty cool.”

To clear the air, the Board of Education  is not pulling any funds from the classroom to make the track possible.

“I think there’s this misconception in the community that the Board of Ed is funding some dollars that’s pulling funds from the classroom that’s going to the facility which is not true, like I said this project is completely funded by the Bank of Romney and our loving community.” said Stewart.

Nearly 3/4ths of the project is funded, so as soon as funds are raised, the renovation will start immediately and take about 100-120 days to complete. Stewart is hoping for the class of 2020 to walk across the new field for graduation.

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