ELKVIEW, W.Va. — Seven years after one of West Virginia’s worst floods destroyed Herbert Hoover High School, a brand new, state of the art facility is ready to welcome students this week.
“We knew we were going to get here eventually,” said Hoover Principal Mike Kelley in an appearance on MetroNews flagship station 580-WCHS. “Has it been a long haul? It sure has, but our kids have achieved in academics and athletics at a rate greater than we’ve ever achieved in the history of the school.”
This weekend the seven years of difficulty and frustration will finally end as the school opens up for students Friday. Then Saturday the Huskies football team will hold its first scrimmage for the 2023 football season at a brand new stadium.
“Our students and our athletes have done more with less than anyone in the state. It’s an exciting time to be part of Herbert Hoover, our staff and our student body,” said Head Football Coach Joey Fields.
The celebration will feature West Virginia native Brad Paisley who will speak and perform during the event. The dedication day will include a ribbon cutting for the new field and campus, a scrimmage against Paisley’s alma mater John Marshall and then a performance by Paisley during the post game. Paisley’s appearance will be a full circle moment. He paid a visit to the old high school and its muddy ruins just days after the waters receded.
“Both Brad and Jennifer Garner were on the ground very early on and it wasn’t just a photo op, they then put their money where their mouth was and they went out and raised funds for flood relief,” said Kelley.
Tickets to the event have been sold in order of priority to make certain Hoover students and the Elkview community will get a chance to be part of the celebration. The weekend ceremony will feature gates opening at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Hoover Band will start the activities with a performance at 4:30 p.m. Dedication ceremonies are set for 4:45 p.m. to be followed by the scrimmage game with John Marshall at 5:45 p.m. Paisley’s performance is scheduled to start somewhere around 7:00 to 7:45 p.m.
“We’re playing in the biggest scrimmage in the history of West Virginia high school football. But it’s fun and we’ve been in a lot, maybe not an atmosphere like this, but we played for a state championship and played in several big games in recent years. I want them to soak it in and enjoy it,” Fields said.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids because most will never get to experience anything like this ever,” said Clendenin Mayor Kay Summers who will be the master of ceremonies at Saturday’s event.
You can hear live coverage of the dedication on WCHS radio at 4:30 Saturday afternoon or streaming live at WCHSNetwork.com