Over the last few years, several WVIAC schools have upgraded their athletic facilities in order to enhance their programs. For a while, Glenville State was not one of those schools. Which makes its newest project even sweeter.
"It's going to be one of those facilities that, kind of like with the wow factor, where you walk in and you go, 'Oh my gosh,' in Central West Virginia. But we're really excited about it," Glenville State College President Peter Barr said.
The Jesse R. Lilly Gymnasium has been home to the Glenville State basketball and volleyball teams for more than 80 years. Around this time next year, the Pioneers will settle in to their new home, the nearly $25 million dollar Waco Center.
"I think having this new Waco Center will help with recruiting," Pioneer Athletic Director Janet Bailey said. "It helps the students as they see it evolving, as they see the building going up. It's exciting for them to watch."
"I think everybody benefits from this," Barr said. "But particularly the athletes. They're certainly excited about it. But our whole student body is excited about this kind of an opportunity."
The multi-million dollar Waco Center will not be your typical basketball arena. The facility will include offices for the land surveying program at Glenville. More importantly, it will help solve a major problem that's been plaguing the city for quite some time.
"People talk about the sports arena, but the really important thing is that there's a 24/7 healthcare facility that will enhance healthcare for all individuals in this area and continuous counties because it will be available at all times," Bailey said.
"This is a wonderful opportunity," Barr added. "I'm sure that people would like to move here or stay here as they get older, but they don't have the medical facilities. So this is a tremendous opportunity for us."