By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
Thanks to a donation from Maycel Clark, the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association was able to purchase the former Washington-Nile Middle School on 13th Street in West Portsmouth and turn it into the West Portsmouth Youth Sports Complex.
“In 2007, we started the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association to create a traveling basketball team. We created the association so we could raise money to help offset the cost so kids could travel and play basketball throughout the tri-state,” said Scott Davis, president of the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association. “For years we’ve been designing buildings and looking for places to have a basketball facility.”
Davis said when the former middle school became available it was what the association needed in a facility.
The building was sold through public auction by the Washington-Nile School District to Bobby Evans.
“When he bought the facility he donated the football complex to our association. At the same time we asked to see if we could lease the gym for our basketball team to play. At the time we did not want anything else but the gym,” Davis said. “After he had done some work on the building, he came to us and offered to sell us the building,” Davis said. “That’s when we started brainstorming ideas on how we could come up with the necessary funding to buy the building.”
He said the purchase was for the parking lot because the association already owned the football complex.
“That’s when we got hooked up with Maycel Clark of the Clark Foundation. We told her our plans and everything we wanted to do for the kids of the area and she donated the money so we could purchase the building,” Davis said.
The association purchased the building for $60,000.
“Even though we are the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association the vision now is far beyond basketball,” said Todd Book, West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association board member. “We are talking soccer and football. We have the facilities now to help the kids in the area play these sports.”
Davis said there is an endless amount of possibilities on where the association can go now that it owns the facility.
Book said the facility is available for rent by outside groups.
“This is an asset to the people of Scioto County, whether it’s getting their baseball team warmed up before spring; we’re in serious discussions about putting in an indoor driving range to help area golfers,” Book said.
Davis said the association will be conducting a number of fundraisers throughout the year to help raise money that will keep the facility open.
“We’ve held several youth basketball tournaments over the winter, in which a lot of kids participated,” Book said. “We also recently held a large fundraiser for the complex, which raised about $10,000.”
He said besides basketball, some area baseball teams have already been using the facilities for spring training.
For more information and a schedule of events for the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association, visit wpysc.org.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.