You can donate time or cash to help make the UHS Sports Complex a reality.
For almost 100 years, University High School students participating in spring sports have had to travel to off-site locations for practices and games. Today, UHS spring-sport athletes drive 20 to 30 minutes on the interstate to practice on off-site fields. In addition to being a significant inconvenience for players and coaches, it’s an ongoing safety concern for administration and parents. It also negatively affects the number of students participating in spring sports.
“One of the largest opportunities to bring communities together is to provide student access to athletic programs,” says Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Eddie Campbell. “Adding to University High’s sports venue would open even more possibilities for students and families on Monongalia County’s east side.”
To improve this situation, a committee of former athletes, parents, and invested citizens has launched a fundraising campaign to build a new UHS Sports Complex featuring the Jedd Gyorko fields. The UHS Sports Complex will be located on the Dotson Tipple site that sits directly behind the school building. The facility will feature WVSSAC-compliant, lighted baseball/softball fields and tennis courts with concessions, restrooms, and bandstands. The baseball/softball fields will be named in honor of Jedd Gyorko, a UHS baseball alum, former WVU starting shortstop, and retired Major League Baseball player. Gyorko is working closely with the committee to help reach the campaign goal.
“Having my alma mater’s baseball fields named after me is truly an honor,” Gyorko says. “I look forward to assisting with this project and soon watching UHS host games on their home field.”
The committee is working in conjunction with and at the direction of UHS administration and with Campbell and the Monongalia County Board of Education. The new facility will complement the football stadium, built in 2008 when UHS moved to Baker’s Ridge, which hosts football, soccer, and other fall sports. The committee envisions the complex as a community asset hosting youth sports programs and tournaments on weekends, positively impacting the local community and economy.
Mills Group was engaged for master planning and rough conceptual design. “Theming for the athletic fields consists of blending the University High brand colors and materials into a classic style that feels familiar, yet fresh and modern,” says Mills Group’s Ryan Hess, one of three UHS graduates at the firm. “Reds, browns, and tans work in tandem with steel, stone, and brick to pay homage to iconic baseball fields while staying true to University High’s core aesthetic.”
Hess believes the project will provide a greater sense of place at his alma mater. “We designed the facility to be a park,” he says, “a gathering place for students and coaches to wait between games. There is also a cross-country path around the fields.”
A graceful entrance archway included in the master plan creates an iconic sense of arrival to the facility. “We took some design inspiration for the entrance and landscape architecture from Busch Stadium in St. Louis,” says Hess.
To help make the UHS Sports Complex a reality, you can donate your time and/or money by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 304.777.8956. Online donations can be made here.