Whippets athletic complex
A rendering of the planned Whippet athletic facility that is to be built on the campus of Shelby High School.

SHELBY — When it comes to the future Shelby Whippets athletic complex, much has been detailed about the $4 million in financing secured for the facility, a figure equal to the interest savings related to the new pre-kindergarten-through-eighth grade school building project under construction.

But through Whippet Patron Contributions, those looking to bolster the project also can get personally involved in the future of Shelby sports at the complex set to debut in 2023.

“We’re giving people the opportunity to get involved in sponsoring or commemorating a family member or their company in the new athletic complex,” Shelby Schools Superintendent Tim Tarvin said in a recent interview. “We’ve had some people say ‘I want to sponsor the press box’ or ‘I want to sponsor a scoreboard or a field house.’”

A number of sponsorship opportunities are listed on the school district website as being sold including for Whippet Plaza ($75,000 patron contribution), the football/soccer scoreboard ($25,000), locker room/athletic training facility ($15,000) and the scoreboard for the relocated baseball field ($10,000).

Other remaining opportunities include the football/soccer facility with field turf ($150,000), press box ($25,000), the existing field house and concession stand ($15,000, the softball field’s scoreboard ($10,000) and the Whippet Wall of Honor (contributions ranging from $250 to $20,000).

Officials emphasize that no new money is involved for the sports complex that’s going to be at the Shelby High School campus. When it is complete, it is to include items such as a new football/soccer venue, baseball and softball fields and refurbished tennis courts and track. 

The sponsorships are not necessary to build the overall complex.

“That is what is neat about it,” Superintendent Tarvin said. “The $4 million we have for that complex is enough to do everything, but there’s a lot of things that are going to have to go into this complex that aren’t a part of that $4 million budget.”

“Getting donations and contributions from whether it is private individuals or companies allows us to enhance it,” Tarvin said. “It allows us to put a fence up if there’s not a fence there. It allows us to do a lot of different things that were not part of the $4 million.”

“If we never got 1 cent, we’d still be able to have a football field and track and soccer,” he said in reference to the sponsorship effort. “This is going to allow us to enhance it.”

The web page for the Shelby Whippet Athletic Complex Sponsorship Opportunities also offers a future glimpse of what the complex will entail. Some examples as described there:

* Football/Soccer Facility with Field Turf: “A sports field with synthetic turf will promote year-round activity on a safe and resilient surface for our physical education classes, band and athletic teams, which will, in turn, promote student wellness.”

* Whippet Plaza: “The Whippet Plaza will afford fans the opportunity to gather before an event and to enjoy the ambiance sitting near the ‘Victory’ fountain.’”

* Press Box: Besides offering “a tremendous view of the playing facility for media, coaches and game personnel,” the press box will offer seating to individuals or businesses who wish to secure a private viewing space for the big game.

* Scoreboard: “Located in the northern end zone, a state-of-the-art scoreboard is sure to be a fan favorite featuring advanced graphics and a large video board.”

* Locker Room/Athletic Trainer Facility: “This 3,800 square-foot facility will provide space for locker rooms, a training room, coaches’ offices, a team-meeting area, restrooms for spectators, as well as a spirit shop for our athletic boosters.”

* Existing Field House and Concession Stand: “…When the new athletic complex opens for competition, concession stand accessibility for our fans will be expanded to improve the spectator experience.”

* Scoreboard for the Baseball Field: “With the relocation of our baseball field, our Whippets will be playing at a new venue that will not only benefit our players, but the viewing experience of our fans will be enhanced in a variety of ways, one of which will be a baseball-specific scoreboard.”

* Softball field scoreboard: “The Whippet softball field will remain where it is currently located, but the venue will be receiving a much-needed facelift, part of which will be a new softball-specific scoreboard.”

* Whippet Wall of Honor: “Shelby Whippet fans can capture this opportunity to show their support for our Whippet teams by having the name of their company, family, or loved one placed on “The Wall” with accompanying signage illustrating their sponsorship. This beautiful structure will grace Whippet Plaza and the entrance to the football/soccer/track venue.”

Though the sponsorship page lists several of the opportunities as “sold,” Superintendent Tarvin said people can still get involved.

He stated that people can contact him or Scott Harvey — the Shelby school district's director of building maintenance, grounds and safety.

“We’ll set up a meeting with them and talk to them whether it is on the phone or in-person and explain to them what their options are and that sort of thing,” Tarvin said.

Officials have noted the key role that Harvey is playing with the athletic complex project.

At a school board meeting this spring, Superintendent Tarvin credited Harvey for working “deligently” to “keep that cost” down involving the visitors bleachers, the press box and the bleachers at the baseball field.  

For a detailed look at the sponsorship opportunities, see the website of Shelby City Schools at https://shelbyk12.org

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