BECKLEY, WV (WVNS0 — During homecoming week for WVU Tech, the school unveiled plans for a special kind of homecoming.

During the State of Tech address on Thursday, February 17, 2022, WVU Tech President Carolyn Long announced a partnership she believes will benefit all of Raleigh County.

“We were talking with some community leaders about lots of things, we have those conversations on a daily basis, and so when we talked to them, we started thinking about what could we provide for the community that would also benefit Tech,” said Long.

They came up with a project that would partner WVU Tech, Raleigh County Commission, the city of Beckley, the YMCA Board, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the Paul Cline Memorial sports complex.

The project would build a baseball field, walking tracks, areas for track and field, and the revival of one athletic program for the Golden Bears.

A part of the plan involves converting one of the soccer fields into a football field, to revive a sport that laid dormant since 2011.

“We’d love to bring football back to Tech which I think we will and if we can get all this done, and not if we can get it done, when we get it done, that is what we will do!” said Long.

Long said this would be a win for everybody, as she envisions the economic development and influx of students and visitors it could bring. She is not the only one excited by the proposition.

Billie Trump, the Recorder Treasurer for the City of Beckley believes this project could benefit the area in a way similar to one city in Virginia.

“Virginia Tech and Blacksburg were really kind of a sleepy little place and now when you look at them, they have grown, they are a division one school and I think we have the potential to accomplish the same thing,” said Trump.

The majority of sports at WVU Tech currently play in the River’s States Conference, which does not facilitate football.

Long also added when they do bring back football, they will add additional women’s sports as well.

While there is still a ways to go before the first coin toss, Long is excited to continue to try and improve the community in any way they can.