Today West Virginia Academy announces a substantial and transformational gift and partnership that will enable West Virginia’s first charter school to add a second campus and sports facility at the current site of the Preston County Youth Center (PCYC) in Masontown. The partnership with PCYC involves a significant donation of 20 acres of surrounding land by Glenn Larew and Coaltrain Corporation paired with a very significant in-kind donation by Bionic Tire Recycling for materials to develop additional sports facilities and classrooms for the campus. This move aligns with West Virginia Academy’s objectives to provide quality education and choice in public education to families in West Virginia.
This Preston Campus to West Virginia Academy will be developed in five phases around the PCYC facility on VIP Dr. in Masontown, WV. The location is an 18 minute drive from the Sabraton exit to I-68 in Morgantown and a similar distance from Kingwood in the opposite direction. PCYC’s existing facility includes multiple basketball and volleyball courts as well as an indoor children’s play area, all of which have primarily been used for community leagues as well as summer and after-school programs for youth. These programs will continue in partnership with West Virginia Academy and families can register for summer programming now. Future plans for the campus include the new school, a track and field facility, soccer fields, sports courts, playgrounds, and a swimming pool with an enclosure for the winter so swimming will be available year-round to students during the day and members of the community in the evenings.
West Virginia Academy is gauging interest levels for a possible pilot opening for the Preston Campus as early as this August, but plans for a larger cohort are in the works beginning in the fall of 2024. Families interested in attending the charter school in Masontown, either this fall or next year, should complete a short survey so they receive updates as those plans develop. West Virginia Academy will use survey responses to determine which grade levels to offer first. The timeline for some of the sports complex additions will be dependent in part on funding, although many of the projects are already partially funded. Further, a construction project adding 4-6 classrooms to the existing building is already underway and the classrooms should be available by this August. Current West Virginia Academy students at the campus in the Suncrest area of Morgantown have already been holding events at the facility including field day and graduation and the new campus will be a big part of competitive sports programs and other activities for all West Virginia Academy campuses.
The realization of the Preston Campus of West Virginia Academy was made possible because of some truly generous actions and donations by proponents of school choice. Bionic Tire Recycling actually agreed to move its planned recycling facility to another location, which required significant additional effort and expense, in order to make room so West Virginia Academy could establish a full 20 acre campus adjacent to the existing PCYC facility. “Bionic Tire, in coordination with the Hovatter Group, produces many of the critical components for sports facilities including surfacing for tracks and sports courts, gripping tile for surfaces around pools, artificial turf, as well as padding and rubber products, said John Treu, Board Chair for West Virginia Academy. “We’re extremely fortunate for the significant pledge to make these in-kind donations, which will enable West Virginia Academy and the Preston County Youth Center to more effectively achieve our respective missions to educate and enrich the lives of children and build a better community.”
West Virginia Academy is the first Public Charter School in the state of West Virginia and offers tuition free public education for grades PreK-10 during the 2023-2024 school year as well as supplemental hope scholarship programming for grade levels K-12. The academy will add a grade level each year and serve grade levels PreK-12 on a full time basis by the 2025-26 school year. The Preston Campus will be the second campus of West Virginia Academy, joining its current campus in the Suncrest area of Morgantown (763 Chestnut Ridge Rd). A third campus in the Cheat Lake area of Morgantown, near the falling water neighborhood, is in the early phases of development.