A unique sports partnership is on full display on the campus of Wellington High School. Thanks to a special agreement between the Village of Wellington, the Palm Beach County School District and Wellington High School, the sports facilities at WHS have been improved, upgraded and enhanced.
While the immediate beneficiaries will be the athletic department and the student-athletes at the high school, the residents of Wellington get free access to these new facilities as well when the many Wolverine teams are not playing or practicing.
For this new sports complex to become a reality, the Palm Beach County School District provided the land and the Village of Wellington paid for the facility to be built. The price tag was $12 million. In order for the village to spend public funds on the WHS campus, the school district had to agree to share the facilities with the general public. It became a win-win for all parties involved.
In June, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility took place, which officially opened the multi-use sports complex to the general public and to the Wolverines’ athletic program.
The first phase of the new sports complex was completed last summer when the new synthetic turf football field opened at WHS. The Wolverines’ football team, soccer teams and lacrosse teams used the field for home games during the 2020-21 school year. This field has permanent markings for those three sports.
The other new sports facilities at WHS include eight tennis courts, of which four have pickleball lines, four adjoining multi-purpose fields, three basketball courts, two new batting cages, a kickback wall, a running track and a new building that has two concession stands, bathrooms and a meeting room.
According to Wellington Parks & Recreation Director Eric Juckett, many sports will be played on the massive multi-purpose fields, such as flag football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and outdoor tournaments that are held in Wellington at various times throughout the year.
Wellington Vice Mayor John McGovern is thrilled to see this new sports complex open and being used by the public.
“It is going to be a great addition for the community,” McGovern said. “It is spectacular, and I think that it is going to be a tremendous addition to our parks and recreation inventory.”
Juckett noted that this sports complex puts Wellington on a different level when compared to other municipalities in Palm Beach County.
“We are truly excited to bring this facility to our residents,” Juckett said. “It creates at-will recreation opportunities, and it will be a direct benefit to the students and residents of the village.”
Juckett said that everybody he has spoken with about this unique recreational complex is delighted with what has been accomplished.
“I honestly have not heard anything negative,” Juckett said. “It has all been very positive and in awe of the complex that was built, along with the relationship we have with the Palm Beach County School District and, specifically, Wellington High School.”
According to Juckett, Wellington residents will have access to open play on the tennis courts and basketball courts during the Village of Wellington hours of use. The fall/spring hours are Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The summer hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Village of Wellington programming will take priority to open play by the general public.
To learn more about Village of Wellington recreation programs, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/recreation.