Donation allows West Virginia Academy to expand in Preston County, add sports complex

MASONTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Academy has announced a major donation that will allow the state’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 the Coaltrain Corporation along with a matching donation from Bionic Tire Recycling for materials to develop additional sports facilities and classrooms for the campus.

“The primary driver behind was Glenn Larew, he is the founder of the PCYC and he contacted us about a partnership and significant donation to create a campus out there,” Chairman of the West Virginia Academy, Jon Treu said. “And we also got a very, very generous in-kind pledge from Bionic Tire Recycling.”

The new campus and sports facility will be a five-phase project at the 20 acre PCYC facility on VIP Dr. in Masontown. The facilities will be an 18-minute drive from the Sabraton exit to I-68 in Morgantown and about the same distance from Kingwood.

“Of all the local counties close to where we operate, Preston County had the strongest support for charter schools,” Treu said. “And that was true both in terms of support in the legislature as well as just ground swell support for charter schools.”

The existing facilities currently include multiple basketball and volleyball courts, as well as an indoor children’s play area. Previously, the areas had been used by community leagues and summer and after-school programs. These programs will continue in partnership with West Virginia Academy, and registration for summer programs is available now.

The new campus will be the home for all WVA competitive sports programs, something that has been a priority, while serving the needs of the PCYC and their community mission.

“This partnership with them allows us to achieve that mission by establishing a campus there as well as operating after school programs and summer programs at that facility,” Treu said.

Currently, a project is underway to add four to six classrooms to the existing building and should be available by August of 2023. Current West Virginia Academy students from the Suncrest area of Morgantown have already been holding events there, including field day and graduation.

Future plans include the addition of a new school, 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 community members in the evenings.

Bionic Tire Recycling will also produce many of the critical components for the sports facilities including surfacing for tracks and sports courts, gripping tile for surfaces around pools, artificial turf, as well as padding and rubber products.

Funding will determine the timeline for some of the sports complex additions, but some funds are already in place.

According to Treu, a pilot opening for the Preston Campus could be as early as this August if there are enough students. However, there are plans for the opening in the fall of 2024.

“Any families that are interested in attending school or having their children attend the charter school at that campus should go to the website and complete the short survey,” Treu said.