Keyser, W.Va. - The WVU Potomac State College Athletic Department is planning for the future amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Multiple projects and improvements of the PSC athletic facilities mean that when things get back to normal, the athletes on the Keyser campus will reap the rewards of these enhancements.
Funding for many of the athletic facility improvements became available in the form of a generous donation from the estate of Phillip R. Kessel, a former Petersburg resident and alumnus of Potomac State College.
"The gift from the Kessel Estate is a tremendous gesture, allowing us to move forward simultaneously with large projects that would otherwise have taken years to complete through traditional fundraising initiatives," said Athletic Director Ray Kiddy.
Two of the largest projects are currently in progress: A new softball clubhouse and the complete renovation of the Stayman Field athletic fieldhouse.
The modular construction softball clubhouse has been delivered to the PSC campus and installation work is currently underway. Once completed, the clubhouse will house locker facilities, coaches' offices, storage and public restrooms.
The college is planning to dedicate the softball clubhouse in the memory of Mr. Kessel at a later date.
Renovations at the Stayman Fieldhouse include a new interior floor plan that will feature four separate locker rooms to accommodate men's and women's soccer and men's and women's lacrosse. The locker spaces will be fully remodeled.
Also included in the Stayman Fieldhouse improvements will be fully remodeled athletic training facilities, referee locker room, athlete restrooms, storage and laundry facilities.
A paving project was also made possible from the Kessel estate donation. The new blacktop connects the entrance of the parking lots of the J. Edward Kelley complex and the Church-McKee Arts Center as well as the Indoor Riding Arena and Golden Park, the home of Potomac State Baseball.
"Investing in our facilities will help provide the best possible experience for our athletes," added Kiddy. "It's also an investment in our college. When we improve the experience of visiting our campus along with increasing the opportunity to do so, the entire college community benefits."
Kiddy continued, "With these capital improvements, Potomac State College's Athletic Department has proven resilient in supporting our student athletes under unique circumstances. Currently our plans are for all of our teams to compete in their 2020-21 NJCAA seasons during the spring semester, I'm glad they'll get that opportunity with updated facilities."
Projects funded through traditional fundraising and budget appropriations have also been completed or are on schedule for 2020. Installation of a new scoreboard is complete at the PSC softball field. The softball diamond also received a considerable amount of sod that will aid in drainage and improved aesthetics. Golden Park has picked up a fresh coat of paint, complete with graphics, on both dugouts as well as the addition of 13 tons of white sand in the infield area. Finally, a project to be completed later in 2020 is the installation of air conditioning in Lough Gymnasium.