The bleachers at Jimmy Carey Stadium in Weirton and Veterans Memorial Stadium in Newell are silent, but the Hancock County Board of Education is hoping that community interest in the facilities is alive.
Board members met Tuesday to take up a recommendation by Superintendent Suzan Smith to declare the stadiums surplus property and put them up for sale.
"The board has no intention of keeping that property," said school board President Jerry Durante. "The board's intention is to sell it. There's no use that we can see in the near future for either one of those properties."
Durante said the board waited until now because it wanted to make sure the new stadiums at Oak Glen and Weir high schools were ready for use for the 2012-2013 school year. Both facilities are nearing completion, as is the Field of Dreams complex at Oak Glen High School.
The Newell stadium, which sits next to the old Wells Junior High School, is known by generations of area high school football fans as the site of Golden Bears home games.
"It's been used for quite some time," Smith said.
"There's no question there's a lot of sentimental value to that field down there," Durante said. "There've been some very great memories in both of those fields ... going back to the '40s and '50s."
Durante said he remembers games being played at the Newell stadium in 1965, the year he started teaching. The last football game was played there in November.
"The board is very interested in seeing that the right thing is done with both those facilities. This step is just a formality," Durante said. "Obviously, we have concern that whatever happens to those fields is positive for the community."
Durante described the Newell stadium as "prime property" on state Route 2 that he hopes will generate local interest. The board can set a minimum bid if the property ends up being sold at auction, he said.
Smith's recommendation to the board includes a stipulation that legal counsel prepare documentation for the sale or other disposition of both properties.
In other business Tuesday, the board held a second and final reading of a new policy governing "Expected Behaviors in Safe and Supportive Schools."
Smith said the district policy will mirror a statewide policy adopted by the West Virginia Department of Education last year. All state school districts must be on board with the new policy by July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
The policy has six chapters covering such things as "expected student dispositions," "student rights and responsibilities," "inappropriate behavior and meaningful interventions and consequences," "procedures for addressing allegations of inappropriate behaviors," and "procedures for taking action on substantiated inappropriate behaviors."
(Huba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)