After many years of enduring travel for “home” games, parents of West Wilson Middle School athletes can now breathe a little easier knowing their children have a field on campus.
“For many years, West Wilson Middle School has had to play their softball, baseball, soccer and football games either at the [Mt. Juliet] Little League Park or at Wilson Central High School,” said principal Wendell Marlowe. “This was not only an added expense for the school, but having to travel off campus for all home games and for most practices was an additional liability issue.”
Marlowe said the school system provided startup funds for the outdoor sports facilities about five years ago, and the school was able to build three fields – a football/soccer field, as well as baseball and softball fields. Lighting and fencing were funded about two years ago.
However, those fields are currently without bleachers.
“At the beginning of this school year, WWMS had nice green fields with great lighting, but nowhere for people to sit; no bleachers,” said Marlowe.
West Wilson has three home football games this year, which are all at the new facility just behind the school.
Marlowe said the school has brought in small bleachers borrowed from Stoner Creek Elementary School “and telling parents to bring their own chair.”
“Luckily, the Watertown High School building project ended up with some extra bleachers. The school system finally allowed for those bleachers to be brought to WWMS,” Marlowe said.
Now that West Wilson Middle was given the go ahead to use the bleachers left over from the new Watertown High School, there is a new hurdle.
“Funds to construct the concrete pads for the bleachers [were] not provided by the school system. West Wilson Middle School would have to fundraise approximately $40,000 for the concrete bleacher pads,” said Marlowe.
Marlowe said school officials later learned that there were leftover funds from the West [Elementary], Rutland [Elementary] and West Wilson building projects.
“We asked the school system to request for the county commission’s approval to allow a portion of these funds to be used for concrete bleacher pads at WWMS. After going through three committees, this was finally approved, according to Marlowe.
“Next year at this time we hope to have bleachers on both sides of the football/soccer field and for the baseball and softball fields. Now we have to start working on funding a press box, restroom facilities and a concession stand,” said Marlowe.