Group wants to upgrade PBHS football field, track

PHILIPPI – A proposal to install ProGrass field turf and an 8-lane running track at Philip Barbour High School’s George Byrer Field caught the attention of the Barbour County Board of Education Monday.

Traci Rexrode, PBHS parent and Local School Improvement Council chairwoman, told the BOE about the effort to create the new field.

“I have served at the LSIC at all three of my children’s schools at some point over the past 21 years,” Rexrode said. “This project is not about a football field – it’s about a band, soccer, middle school activities and county youth sports and building a community field to build pride in our school and in our county.”

Rexrode said the LSIC met with John Board, who spearheaded the grassroots effort in Taylor County to redo McKinney Field.

“Taylor County was able to raise over $600,000 in 14 weeks of fundraising,” Rexrode said. “Do we expect to do this? No. They had a lot of windfalls, but it would be fabulous.”

Rexrode said they are just getting the project started and they are hoping to set a 3-to-5 year plan.

“We want to do what’s best for the county,” Rexrode said. “We need to get everyone working together. This will be a community activity for a community field.”

Rexrode said she thinks the project can be done.

“Taylor County is like our county,” Rexrode said. “They are not a wealthy county either, but they got everybody together and got it done. They worked with everyone and accomplished what they set out to do.”

Rexrode said the key is to be organized and unite all of the county groups who would use the field.

“We need to contact alumni from not only Philip Barbour, but also Kasson, Belington and Philippi high schools before there was a Philip Barbour High School,” Rexrode said. “We must be prepared to volunteer hundreds of hours. The people of this county are hard-working and giving folks, and I hope they will get behind this project to make it happen.

Board members thanked the speakers for their time but made no comment on the issue.

The next Barbour County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 13.