FSHS Bear Paw

FAIRMONT — Most of the renovations inside the newly christened Woody Williams Armory, now known as the 201st Fairmont Senior High School Field House, are complete, but there is still more to do.

A committee met Sunday to talk about needs, fundraising and additional projects for their new home.

As of now, the gym floor, bleachers and baskets have all been replaced. Those renovations came via the Marion County Board of Education, which purchased the building before it became the new home for Fairmont Senior athletics. Now, the BOE will close off the glass windows, take care of the air conditioning and fix the restrooms.

Fairmont Senior principal Tyson Ferguson and others who were gathered for the meeting couldn’t thank the BOE and Superintendent of Schools Gary Price for the efforts to restore the facility and give student-athletes and coaches a place to call home.

“We’ve been extremely pleased (with the upgrades) because it took an already good facility and turned it into a great facility,” Ferguson said. “Over the weekend when we had our first games and people walked in, you could see how surprised everybody was to see how it turned out so well. Mr. Price and the board of education didn’t cut any corners or spare any expenses. They really enabled us to create a new, first-class facility.”

While the new upgrades are surely eye-opening, there have already been plans put into motion to continue to improve the facility.

Those improves include such things as locker rooms, a weight room, a referee room, a wrestling room and various other amenities for athletic programs. Those upgrades, though, will likely take hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete in the next few years.

Also, the facility has an immediate need for a digital screen that’s attached to the scorer’s table and carpet runners for walking areas to catch water, dirt and road materials to protect the new gym floor.

The new upgrades, however, will not come via the BOE, as it will turn the building over to Fairmont Senior once its renovations are complete. That means that the funds must come from Fairmont Senior High School.

Ferguson and the rest of the committee are working on fundraisers to complete their upgrades in hopes of providing the best facility to their student-athletes.

“The upgrades are important because these things are going to be for our student-athletes to help them grow and improve,” Ferguson said. “They’re going to help the programs grow and further improve even more. They’re the little things that add up to help programs improve. They’re part of a first-class program and first-class facility, and that’s we want to have and want to create.”

Heather Bresh, a Fairmont Senior graduate, has donated $25,000 to the Armory fund already and has agreed to match any funds the group collects up to an additional $25,000, meaning any donation received will basically count as a double donation for the fund.

For those wishing to donate, checks can be made payable to FSHS Foundation-Armory fund in memo P.O. Box 91, Fairmont, WV 26555.

The group will also hold another meeting to discuss fundraising at 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at the armory.

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

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