W-B Area sports plans: No city fields?

By Mark Guydish - [email protected]
Meyers running back Kevin Dessoye (15) finds a hole in the Nanticoke defense during a game last fall at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. The stadium would continue to host varsity football under two facilities plans being considered by the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board, but use of other sites, including city-owned fields, could be dropped. - Times Leader file

WILKES-BARRE — Part of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board’s consolidation of sports among the three high schools includes adopting one of two “facilities plans.”

Plan A eliminates all use of Wilkes-Barre city fields currently rented for some district sports. Plan B strives to have each school district community host a “season” of sports.

The plans were mentioned in a report from a “transition committee” created to study consolidation and make recommendations. That committee’s recommendation to consolidate was approved 6-3 at a May 22 school board meeting, though the report was not provided to the public prior to the meeting. The board did give attorney Kim Borland and the Times Leader copies of the report after the meeting.

Upon seeing that the report mentioned the two “facilities plans,” Borland requested copies. The request was granted this week and Borland shared the plans with the Times Leader on Friday.

Plan A

The first plan is designed to eliminate all use of city facilities, though Borland questioned if that would really save money considering how much the district saves by having the city maintain those facilities. Under the plan, sports are broken down by season.

Fall: Memorial Stadium at Meyers hosts varsity football. The Solomon/Plains facilities host junior high football, varsity boys and girls soccer, junior high field hockey and varsity/junior high cross country. Junior high soccer is at a Wilkes-Barre Township field. Varsity field hockey is at Guthrie Field near Flood Elementary. Varsity girls tennis is at Birchwood Hills in Plains Township, and varsity golf is at the Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course. Girls varsity volleyball is at either Meyers or Coughlin high schools.

Winter: GAR Memorial High School hosts varsity boys and junior high school basketball. Solomon/Plains hosts grades seven and eight basketball. Coughlin hosts varsity and junior high girls basketball. Meyers hosts grades seven and eight girls basketball. Swimming is at Kistler Elementary, and wrestling would be at GAR or Meyers.

Spring: Varsity boys baseball would be at Hilldale Park in Plains Township. Solomon/Plains would host junior high boys baseball, varsity and junior high girls softball, and varsity and junior high track. Junior high girls softball would be at the Wilkes-Barre Township field, which would also host varsity boys lacrosse. Varsity girls lacrosse would be at Guthrie. Varsity boys volleyball would be at Coughlin while varsity boys tennis would be at Birchwood.

The report suggests, but does not offer specific estimates or assurances, that “transportation costs will either equal the amount that we have paid the city or even be less that that amount” by eliminating use of city sites.

Plan B

The second plan would put most fall sports in South Wilkes-Barre using city facilities and Meyers, with girls volleyball possibly also at Coughlin. It would split most winter sports between GAR, Coughlin and Solomon/Plains with swimming at Kistler. The district would hold most spring sports at Solomon/Plains or other Plains Township sites, including Birchwood and Hilldale.

When the board provided the Times Leader a copy of the transition committee’s report at the May 22 board meeting, it included a “monthly milestones” list that had picking one of the two facilities plans as a milestone for May of this year.

That wasn’t done at the meeting, and the committee report posted since then on the district website lists “choosing facility plan A or B” under June milestones.

Meyers running back Kevin Dessoye (15) finds a hole in the Nanticoke defense during a game last fall at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. The stadium would continue to host varsity football under two facilities plans being considered by the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board, but use of other sites, including city-owned fields, could be dropped.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL091617Meyers-NanticokeFB_3-1.jpgMeyers running back Kevin Dessoye (15) finds a hole in the Nanticoke defense during a game last fall at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. The stadium would continue to host varsity football under two facilities plans being considered by the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board, but use of other sites, including city-owned fields, could be dropped. Times Leader file

By Mark Guydish

[email protected]

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish