PSC to renovate armory into recreational center

Kelley National Guard Armory

By Alyssa Murray Mineral Daily News-Tribune Correspondent

KEYSER - The Kelley National Guard Armory located behind Potomac State College is being renovated into a state-of-the-art recreation center for all students.

The new recreation center will be a 5,400-square-foot facility and feature new flooring with lines for basketball and volleyball, new basketball hoops, and two walking lanes around the gymnasium floor.

A new exercise room will also be available to all students. It will feature free weights as well as cardio machines donated from the West Virginia University Recreation Center.

Along with the gymnasium and exercise room, the recreation center will also provide a multipurpose room with a mirrored wall, sound system and new flooring. This room will be the future classroom for Zumba, karate, dance and yoga classes being offered in the Fall 2017 semester. The classes will even count as credit hours.

PSC also aims to create a cheerleading team by using the multipurpose room as the practice space.

The opening date for the new recreation center is Jan. 10, 2017, the first day of the second semester. The current operation times are not set in stone, but the goal is to keep the center open during weekends (especially Sundays), single day breaks from school, and late evenings every day until around 11p.m. according to athletic director Shawn White.

The Dana G. Lough Gymnasium will shift to being used mainly by athletes. Dean of Student Affairs William Letrent assures that non-athlete students will still be allowed to use the gymnasium after team practices; however, the weight room in the bottom floor will be reserved exclusively for athletes once the recreation center exercise room opens.

The recreation center at the armory will offer students a place to have fun and be active during the cold winter months. It will also be the main area for intramural sporting events such as games and practices; PSC is currently in the process of hiring an intramural athletics director. When he or she is hired, the office will be located within the recreation center.

During the summer months when students are not at PSC, the center will be available to rent for weddings, parties and group events. During the school year, rooms can be reserved by students to personally teach a class such as hip hop dancing or jujitsu, or for other uses. Students are not allowed to make a profit from teaching those classes.

The renovations will not cost students higher tuition rates in the future. The funding and resources for the project come from contributions, West Virginia University and auxiliary services.

It is currently undecided whether or not the recreation center will be staffed by students.

When PSC purchased the armory from the National Guard, it was agreed that Edward Kelley’s name would remain on the building and in its title. Kelley was a Medal of Honor recipient from Keyser and died while serving his country during World War II.

Currently, an official name has not been chosen, although Kelley’s name is sure to be a part of it.

White and Letrent have been working to make sure the recreation center is set to open on its scheduled date of Jan. 10. Both are sure the recreation center will be a huge success with students and are excited for it to finally be available for use next semester.