Berkeley County school board getting on track for Hedgesville High School

April 02, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Hedgesville High School, which has won the boys state AAA track championship twice without actually having a track on campus, might finally be able to get some home-field advantage.

The Berkeley County Board of Education voted Monday night to advertise the site-preparation work for an eight-lane track at the school.

“These kids deserve it,” Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon said after the meeting.

If the project’s financing works in the school district’s favor, the site work will be part of a two-phase plan, Arvon said. Bids for the first phase are scheduled to be opened May 3.

As part of a strategy to get better prices from contractors for the work, Arvon said he hopes to be able to advertise the second phase, the track’s actual construction, at the same time as the yet-to-be built athletic facilities for the new Spring Mills High School, which is slated to open next year.

Fundraising for the Hedgesville track has been under way for several years and Arvon said the school system can tap into money that was saved when the school board recently decided to refund old, voter-approved bonds issued in 2002 for nine capital-improvements projects.

The track is planned for a 25-acre site across Ridge Road North from the high school, said Arvon, who presented drawings for the project to the school board Monday night. A regulation soccer field and a smaller adjoining field also were included in the plans.

Given the layout, board member Ron Gray said the atmosphere will be “electric” for those competing.

Fellow board member Rick Pill noted that the facility would be an asset for the community, as well.

Arvon noted the school’s track titles in 1995 and 2009 came after the teams practiced in the school campus parking lots.

While Arvon said “major improvements” have been made in athletic facilities at all three of Berkeley County’s high schools, the tracks at Martinsburg and Musselman high schools do not meet the standards to host a AAA regional competition. 

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