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Group should look at Wimer Field

With the “Elkins Make It Shine” initiative, the city needs to look at Wimer Field. Elkins Make It Shine is a great (and) obviously successful program giving our city a clean presentation and much needed facelift. Wimer stadium is the exact opposite.

On Oct. 6, 2018, the MSFF hosted a band field show at Wimer Field for 22 plus marching bands and showman from across the state and beyond. Many negative comments were made about the state of the facility, including repeated plans not to return next year. The facilities are a huge embarrassment. The field is barely sustainable, making it a true mud bog. The MSFF is currently searching for an alternate location for activities in 2021.

A week before the band Field show, I witnessed at a “Home” football game a Tigerette with the Elkins High Marching Band perform her half time routine in a puddle over her shoes and half way up her calf. I am proud and sad to say the young woman never flinched or wavered from her performance. Our youth should never be expected to perform, play or practice in these conditions. Having traveled with the EHS band for several years visiting many stadiums I am comfortable in saying Wimer is the worst facility and field. The city of Elkins, Board of Education and community leaders needed to be aware of the conditions our children have dealt with. Planning a field show, practicing a marching band show, practicing and playing football with pride and success is the goal of our children. Imagine if their facility lived up to the students’ efforts and dreams.

The buildings at Wimer are in very sad shape. The restrooms are a hodgepodge of repairs, curtains in place of stall doors, layers of paint, toilets not secured to floor and constantly backed up rendering them useless. The sound system is spotty at best, and the bleachers have required constant repairing. A band student foot went through the band bleachers. Luckily, he was not hurt. The bleachers have currently been condemned, thus rendering the field useless, followed by a scramble to find fields to play.

This is not a reflection on Randolph County School athletic and maintenance staff, they deserve gratitude and respect for their efforts in using the only available resource.

Wimer has faithfully hosted Elkins High and Middle schools and youth football, marching band shows, graduation ceremonies and other activities. It is the staging area for parades. Youth football moved to Buckhannon for games due to lack of adequate local playing field.

It is unacceptable for Elkins students to be without proper facilities. The future of our football program and marching band program rely on practice and performance area.

(On) Oct. 13 of this year, the Randolph County Board of Education CEFP meeting did not address an athletic facility for Elkins High School. If considered in 2022 planning, Elkins will be without football facilities until 2023 or 2024. Freshman of this COVID year 2020 will never have the opportunity to play a HOME game at home or march a home field show. This could be a sad swan song to Elkins Tigers football, as the program will suffer as will the “Spirit of the Mountains” Elkins High Marching Band.

Fix Wimer, convert EHS campus fields to a multi-sport athletic complex or start from scratch somewhere else. We owe it to our children, football teams and players, band kids past and present to continue supporting them and our proud history.

Carolyn Spencer

Band Mom

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