ELKINS—According to Randolph County Schools and Elkins Tigers Athletic Director Ross Ware, Wimer Stadium has been deemed to be unfit to be used for athletic contests.
A structural engineer was brought in to look at the bleachers in the outdated stadium, who determined them to be a safety hazard.
Randolph County Schools announced the decision on Friday, and Ross confirmed the ruling on Saturday. The statement read:
“Randolph County Schools recently received a county-wide bleacher inspection. Additionally, a structural engineer was secured to further assess the findings. It was determined that the bleachers at Wimer Stadium are unsafe to be occupied by spectators. It is with regret that we must inform the Elkins community that there will be no public events held at Wimer Stadium.
The administrations and athletic directors at Elkins High School and Elkins Middle School are working collaboratively to devise a plan to address the 2020 football season. As scheduling information and location of games are completed, we will release this information to the public.”
A decision has already been made regarding the first two games of their high school football season. The plan is for the Tigers to play each of their first two games — both of which were scheduled to be home games — at the field of their opponent but be designated as the home team.
Elkins will be assigned as the home team in Clarksburg when it faces Robert C. Byrd on Sept. 4, and the Tigers will again be the home team in Weston when they play against Lewis County on Sept. 11.
Decisions regarding the rest of the schedule have not yet been announced. Elkins was scheduled to host six home games at Wimer Stadium this season. Randolph County Superintendent Debbie Schmidlen said officials have already begun working on finding new locations for the games.
“We’ve had a lot of folks reach out to us and offer to help, possibly either raise money or possibly meet together as a group of community and school stakeholders so that we can develop and devise a plan of action,” said Schmidlen. “It’s been a big shock. Wimer Stadium has been around for a really long time, and so what we have to look out for, of course, first and foremost is the safety of our athletes and our spectators.”
Philip Barbour, Buckhannon-Upshur, and Tygarts Valley High Schools have all offered Elkins the use of their fields for the upcoming season.
Wimer Field was dedicated on Sept. 28, 1935.