Cameron maps athletic complex

Behind the new Cameron High School are 63 acres of weed-filled and unused hillside.

Delegate David Evans, R-Marshall, believes that land has all the potential in the world.

On this lot overlooking U.S. 250, Evans and several other officials in the area are working to build an outdoor athletic complex consisting of an eight-lane track and a baseball field for both students and the public to enjoy.

According to Evans, the Cameron Track Committee is working with Blue Mountain Inc., an engineering and mapping company from Burton, W.Va., to draw preliminary plans to move dirt on the hillside above the school to begin building the complex.

Evans, who is also the school’s track and field coach, said officials in Marshall County have been wanting to build a track in Cameron for many years and believes the outdoor facility would be a great benefit to the community.

In addition to giving nearby residents a place to exercise, the track would also hold regional track meets and invitationals, give athletic teams an open and safe place to practice.

“It’s a great piece of property,” Evans said. “It’ll be a multi-purpose facility.”

Evans said he envisions a track facility large enough to hold all track activities within the strucure’s bleachers and added it would be one of the few eight-lane high school tracks in the area. In addition to the track and baseball fields, the complex would also include bathroom facilities, parking lots, concession stands, a walking path and a road leading from the high school to the fields.

“It’s going to be huge for the community,” Wyatt O’Neil, assistant principal of the high school, said. “It’s going to be nice. We’ve never had a field other than the football field. It’ll be amazing to see that track up there, too.”

Although the Cameron Track Committee won’t have a set cost until they receive preliminary design plans, Evans estimated the project would cost about $1.5 million to complete. He said a company involved in the oil and gas industry has already verbally expressed interest in donating equipment to move dirt on the property, which could save the school hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cameron High School Principal Jack Cain said the school is looking for support from the community and surrounding businesses to come up with funding for the actual construction of the complex. Cain said he hopes the school can begin moving dirt on the property by this fall.

“I think it’ll be a wonderful opportunity,” Cain said.

Evans said he expects to receive preliminary plans for the property in the next few weeks.