Editor’s note: This is the third in a three part series looking at the 50 years of Meigs High School. While it will not be a comprehensive look at the history of the school (that would take many, many more articles), it will provide a look at some of the highlights, changes and happenings over the 50 year history of the school.
ROCKSPRINGS — Meigs High School was and continues to be a unique learning environment, encompassing traditional courses as well as a range of vocational courses in the same building.
While the school is home to around 500-550 Meigs Marauders, it also sees students from Eastern and Southern High Schools (joining with Meigs students) for vocational programs such as welding, nursing, cosmetology and criminal justice.
The criminal justice program has been a relatively new addition to the vocational programs, while the automotive, welding, nursing and other programs have remained popular over many years at the school.
Principal Travis Abbott explained that the ability to house such programs on site allows for students to maintain a comfort level that they develop around classmates and in familiar territory. There is also the ability for some of the students to earn college credit through courses they complete at Meigs.
Organizations helping MHS grow
In addition to the teachers, staff and administrators who have been involved in Meigs High School and helped to navigate the first 50 years, there are a couple of newer organizations which have stepped in to play a role as the school and district move forward.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, the Meigs Local Enrichment Foundation and the Meigs Local Alumni Association have formed, adding to the success of Meigs High School and its students.
The Meigs Local Enrichment Foundation (MLEF) was founded in 2007 to enrich the quality of Meigs Local School District and the surrounding community. The foundation has designed and begun construction of an athletic and recreational complex adjacent to Meigs High School which will include a modern stadium, nature trails, an orchard, playground, restrooms, concession stands and athletic fields.
A 2007 article in The Daily Sentinel stated, “The MLEF is a group of local residents who hope to raise both funds and enthusiasm for what it calls a ‘first class multi-purpose complex that will enrich academic and extracurricular opportunities, as well as increase community support and school pride.’”
What was at the time described as a “new complex would include a new 3,000-seat football stadium, and an eight-lane track at the current Meigs High School” has since become a reality.
The Marauders currently spend Friday nights during football season playing on Holzer Field at Farmers Bank Stadium just behind Meigs High School. There is also an eight-lane track, as well a new softball field and improvements to the baseball field area.
It was the fundraising and donations of many, many organizations, businesses and individuals who helped to make that dream become a reality.
The naming rights on the new stadium and field were requested by the MLEF on the basis of their recent financial commitments to the project and approved by the Meigs Local Board of Education in January 2012, recognizing two donors for their contributions.
Farmers Bank Stadium and Holzer Field opened for the 2012 football season, with Meigs bidding farewell to Bob Roberts Field in Pomeroy at the close of the 2011 season.
The field and stadium nestled neatly in a hollow just off East Main Street was the home of the Pomeroy Purple Panthers from 1950-1966, and the home of the Meigs Marauders from 1967 to 2011. The facility has since been used by the local flag football league.
In February 2017, MLEF received its final $50,000 from AEP of a $500,000, 10-year commitment toward the project. The contribution, along with other donations successfully paid off the debt taken on by the foundation in order to construct the new complex.
Also in 2007 came the Meigs Local Alumni Association (MLAA) and its vision for “Reunion on the River.”
Reunion on the River became an annual event for alumni over homecoming weekend. The MLAA has presented Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service awards each year since 2007 as part of homecoming events, as well as organizing events in the downtown area on the Saturday of homecoming weekend including a parade, live music and other activities.
In addition to organizing the reunion weekend, MLAA has provided more than $15,000 in scholarship funds to Meigs High School seniors since 2007, averaging three, $500 scholarships per year.
As Meigs turns 50, the goal remains the same.
“The goal is to get a little bit better day,” said Abbott. “If not then you are not doing something right.”