WILLIAMSON – At a regular meeting of the Mingo County Board of Education (BOE), Dr. Johnny Branch provided an update concerning ongoing renovations to facilities at Tug Valley High School (TVHS).
Dr. Branch approached the BOE stating, “We have had a lot going on. I wanted to make sure that I updated the board. You did ask me to keep you informed as to what is going on… As you remember, we came to you with a list of our projects we would be completing. Those plans included working on the locker room, building our board walk, and putting up fences around the football field. We ended up adding another project.”
Branch continued, explaining the progress that has been made on the locker room facilities. “We have been laying block. We are going to be finished in the next few days. By Monday, I should be signing off on the job… That is pretty good. We will at least have it under roof. We will see how much we can get operational throughout the football season.”
Plans for the locker room include areas for visitors and home locker rooms, officials’ locker room and showers, coaches’ office and storage. “It is going to be a nice facility,” Branch stated.
The next project Branch discussed were renovations currently underway for the TVHS concession stand. “This kind of just happened,” Branch began. “The fellow that is doing the block said that he would work in the evenings and weekends on the concession. I started him off with $1,000 from our general athletic fund. I had him get me a list and I went and purchased the materials for him to get started. They took off the top floor which was the old press box, and basically they cut serving windows in the other side and got rid of the restrooms … The windows on the rear will be plexi- glassed so that the servers can see the game and they can watch their children. Basically, they will be served out the other side. They put a new roof on and the entire building on the outside and the inside will be covered with tin. That was donated by Mr. Brown who has helped so much with the locker room. It will look brand new,” Branch continued.
Branch also reported that the concession stand will be ready for the first game on September 8.
Branch also discussed bleachers, boardwalk and fencing. “I spoke to the contractor who is donating his services. He did the design for me. Hatfield Construction came down and took my idea and came up with their material list and design. He said he would be able to frame it up in two days. The material has already been purchased…We still have to do the fence…It is a straight line of fence with about three or four gates that will go in front of the board walk,” Branch explained. “It is going to keep people off the ground. Water drains from the field and comes down that direction. It is going to be much better and safer. This will be complete in September.”
Branch also discussed the cost associated with the summer renovation projects at TVHS. “The school and boosters have contributed $4,500. Private and In-Kind have contributed $38,000 and County/Levy funding 15,700. That is where we are so far,” Branch explained.
Branch concluded by thanking everyone that has been involved in making the projects a success. “One of the things I told you: ‘I am willing to put up what we have.’ I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that the county’s finance department has been excellent. They have worked with me on this and anything I had to work out; they helped me get it right in there… I want to commend them and thank the board again. We are willing to invest. Our people are willing to invest. Our community is willing to invest. I have $182 left in my general athletic fund. I am waiting for that first game so I can get a gate in. I am very appreciative of what the board has been able to help us with as well. Working together, we get these projects done,” Branch said.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)