POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Consider it a progression in progress.
As Point Pleasant High School prepares for its transition up to Class AAA this season, the Big Blacks are busy making some small additions to Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field that will make a big difference in the coming months — and years —for the community.
A new concession stand and restrooms are currently being constructed in the northwest endzone, which will bring the now four-year old stadium complex one step closer to its overall completion.
OVB Field — which opened in August of 2009 — has had to make due with port-a-potties and limited concession areas since its inception, but the latest addition to this multi-purpose complex will remedy that problem for quite some time.
The new facility will provide a pair of spacious restroom areas for both men and women, and the new concession stand will provide not only an updated space for food preparation and sales — but also an extra room for storage of both refrigerated and dry goods.
This new addition will not only be useful for the football, soccer and track teams that play inside the OVB Field complex, but the facility will also be accessible for the same purposes for baseball, softball, and soon-to-be tennis squads that have their stadiums located on campus.
The new facility has openings in both the front and back of the building, which will allow concessions to be sold for all outdoor sports — regardless of the season. The building, itself, is centered in between the baseball, softball and football complexes, allowing fans at any of the three venues to pick up a snack while taking in a game.
The building also has restroom entrances on both sides of the facility, again allowing spectators of any outdoor sport on campus the luxury of a little relief if it is needed.
The facility is also located close to the future homes of the athletic field house and tennis courts, which will be added a little later on down the road as part of the original OVB stadium project.
And while the new concession-restroom facility will officially be completed shortly after the start of the 2012 season, there are also some private additions going on at the campus that will greatly improve athletics at Point Pleasant.
The football boosters raised around $12,000 for some additions to the football locker room — which in years past had also served as a classroom, a wrestling training room and a prep area for track and field.
That multi-purpose usage also meant a lot of maneuvering of equipment at the end and beginning of seasons. But now, with the near-completion of the wrestling room at the opposite end of the football room, everything is in place for all to enjoy.
PPHS football coach Dave Darst — who is preparing for his sixth season at the helm — says this extra addition will greatly aid his program for its upcoming transition to Class AAA.
“We had the opportunity to make this building our own when the wrestling team upgraded their facility at the other end of this building. In the past, we’ve generally had to share this building with three or four other sports - but now we have a place of our own,” Darst said. “With the move to Triple-A, we wanted to do something really special for these kids and let them know that we are going to be ready for this move. We feel we’ve made ourselves a Triple-A school and we have given our kids the absolute best in regards to athletics.”
The new football additions include updated shower and restroom facilities, as well as carpeted flooring throughout the building. The old locker room — which doubled as a wrestling room — is now entirely dedicated as a weight room and a classroom for the school.
The old weight room is now the new locker room, allowing swarms of football players to get ready for either a game or practice without feeling cramped. The building will have air conditioning throughout the place, making a comfortable environment available for the athletes.
New doors and windows were installed to make the building more economical, and a second entrance/exit door was added to the building for game night conveniences. An additional athletic trainer’s facility was also installed for quicker injury treatment on game nights.
There are still some planned additions for this football room down the way, but Darst sure is proud of what he now has to work with. And given the community support that has made this a reality, he cannot help but be humbled as progress takes shape.
“We still have plans to add a player lounge that can double-up as a meeting room or a winter workout room, which will hopefully make this facility a place that kids will want to spend a considerable amount of time at,” Darst said. “A lot of this work was done by our coaches, and the boosters gave us enough funding to make this project a reality. Most of the people working on this are Point Pleasant grads, so we share the same vision and want to make this something really nice for these kids.
“We’re not done with the additions, but we’re getting closer and closer every day … and it’s really nice to see it as it unfolds. And honestly, a lot of the thanks go to the athletic boosters and the Point Pleasant community.”
Point Pleasant officially kicks off its 2012 football season on Friday, Aug. 24, when it hosts South Point in a non-conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.