The University High School Sports Complex will be located on the Dotson Tipple site that sits directly behind the school building. The Sports Complex will house the facilities for baseball, softball, and tennis.
The committee’s goal is to complete the project to the compliance of WVSSAC, thus enabling the sports programs to host high school games, tournaments, and other events pertinent to UHS and the community.
As previously mentioned, since the inception of UHS in 1925, the school has never had on-site facilities for their spring athletic programs. The athletes participating in spring programs are currently driving 20-30 minutes on the interstate to practice on off-site fields. This has been a safety concern for administration and parents as students are transporting too many passengers in their vehicles, driving on the interstate, and potentially speeding to arrive to practice on time.
The benefits to the school and community by having on-site facilities will be immeasurable:
- Statistics have proven that high school students that participate in school-based extracurricular activities have improved behavioral, academic, and mental health differences than their non-participating counterparts. The on-site location of the facilities will increase the participation of students without transportation allowing them to stay after school to attend practices and games.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, West Virginia has the 2nd highest obesity rate in the nation. Having on-site facilities will combat this epidemic, improving and expanding the physical education courses that provide students the opportunity for activity and movement during the day.
New facilities will allow UHS to offer a “Classroom Outside of the Classroom” option that will assist in expanding the diversity of the physical activity choices available to students.
- The committee’s ultimate vision of the complex will also include community activities. Allowing youth sports programs to use the facilities on the weekends by hosting local youth tournaments that will bring the community together resulting in increased traffic to the area. This will ultimately positively impact the local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores. Again, the impact of pouring into young students allowing them access to a convenient location to participate in team sports is immeasurable and contributes to a positive and vibrant community.
UHS moved to the Bakers Ridge location in 2008 allowing the building to sit on several acres of reclaimed land. The community assisted with the building of a beautiful football field that comes alive every Friday night in the fall. The school spirit that exudes while the community gathers on those evenings is palpable. There can be no better use of the Dotson Tipple site than to build a sports complex complementing the football stadium while creating a hub for the school and Morgantown community.