There is good news for those who might want to shoot a little hoops in the historic Williamson Fieldhouse. Starting on May l3 it will be open to the general public for recreational basketball purposes.
Scheduled times are available and walk-ins will be accepted based on availability. They will open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.
Contact Lori Phillips at 304-235-3860 or 606-625-0966 for scheduling and pricing information. All participants will be required to adhere to the new code of conduct and rules of the Fieldhouse. Indoor athletic shoes (NO street shoes) will be required in order to participate on the basketball court.
Those who would like to walk the halls are also encouraged to use the facility, especially during inclement weather.
Many changes are planned for the Williamson Fieldhouse. One of the big proposals is to build a new, larger and nicer hospitality room. Then once that is done, the Williamson High School Hall of Fame plaques will be placed on the walls of the new meeting/party room.
The plaques have been located in the WHS cafeteria, now the middle school. But, with the move of the current middle school to West End, where it will be merged with Riverside to form Williamson Pre-K – 8, the HOF committee was searching for a home for the plaques.
A non-profit fund drive will soon be started by the WHS Hall of Fame committee to help with the renovation of the hospitality room, according to Curt Phillips, a longtime Park Board member. “If we can get donations from hall of fame members and WHS alumni - that will give us a great start to raise enough money for this project.”
HOF president Cecil Hatfield loves the idea and hopes that everyone who can afford it will make a donation, especially past Williamson High graduates.
Phillips said that State Senator Truman Chafin has already pledged a $1,000 donation to kick-start the campaign.
More information on this fund drive will be released at a future date.
Phillips said the Park Board is working on getting grants to put a new roof on the historic structure to fix leaking problems. The building is now on the National Historic Register and Park Board member Steve Wilson hopes that grant money can be obtained to help make repairs and renovations. Senator Chafin said he would also check with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to see if there is money available in the coffers to help with this project.
Phillips also said he would like to see the bathrooms updated and repaired, which would make them handicapped accessible. The old building could use a fresh coat of paint on the inside and the outside, as well as other makeovers.
The Williamson Fieldhouse has a rich history of events that have been held there in the past, especially basketball games. Phillips is working on a history of some of the great players who have played in the hallowed halls of the building.
This is a worthwhile project and hopefully will come to fruition.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)