WVU Jackson’s Mill has been an integral part of the history of West Virginia and has played host to hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout its nearly 100-year history. Looking toward the future of facility, WVU Extension Service is planning for the next century of camping and education to meet the evolving needs and interests of youths and other visitors in West Virginia and beyond.
WVU Extension Service Dean Steven Bonanno announced today the launch of the Centennial Campaign, a $2.8 million fundraising initiative to preserve the treasured history of WVU Jackson’s Mill while providing critical enhancements to ensure it continues to meet the camping, recreation and educational needs for future visitors.
Among the planned improvements are a 6,000 square foot Science Technology Engineering and Math building, designed by Vannostrand Architects PLLC, that will provide hands-on learning in STEM fields; three yurts and a bathhouse to increase capacity by 36 beds; river access points; a high ropes course and zipline; and skeet, trap and rifle ranges to enhance the opportunities for outdoor recreation. The addition of five log structures for heritage crafts and education highlight the commitment to honoring West Virginia’s Appalachian culture. Renovations to Randolph and Monroe Cottages, along with the installation of air conditioning in all cabins, complete the preservation and maintenance efforts.
“Today’s young people want hands-on learning experiences that provide them with unique experiences and skills to be successful,” Bonanno said. “Additionally, research shows the important role outdoor education provides in helping young people gain valuable problem-solving skills and enhanced confidence. The new STEM facility and expanded outdoor recreation opportunities allow us build upon our traditional camps and extend our reach by offering additional programming that our young people are interested in.”
To date, approximately $2 million has been secured through early leadership gifts and commitments from The Estate of Gladys Knapp, Howard E. Boggs, The Hayhurst Family, Margaret Blagg Irby and William J. Freyler. In addition to the early fundraising success, many of the projects are underway or complete.
“The renovations to Randolph and Monroe Cottages were finished in time for the 2018 camping season. The yurts and bathhouse are currently under construction, as are the additional heritage craft buildings. We plan to break ground on the STEM building as soon as the ground thaws this spring. The overarching goal is to complete these projects in time for our 100-year celebration,” said Truman Wolfe, Director, WVU Jackson’s Mill.
“The early success of this campaign is attributed to a handful of individuals who have displayed incredible philanthropic leadership through both planned and major gifts. There is an overwhelming amount of passion for Jackson’s Mill and the positive role it has played in countless lives. We are excited to honor these individuals with various naming opportunities as projects are completed,” said Abby Esguerra, Director of Development, WVU Extension Service.
Alumni, donors and friends will have an opportunity to help kick off the WVU Jackson’s Mill Centennial Campaign by making a gift to the annual fund as part of WVU’s Day of Giving on November 14. WVU Extension Service has worked with donors to secure matching gifts on that date, providing opportunities to enhance giving to the initiative.
For more information about WVU Day of Giving, visit dayofgiving.wvu.edu Nov. 14. To learn more about opportunities to support the Centennial Campaign, including naming opportunities and major gifts, contact the WVU Extension Service Development Office at 304.293.8668. Gifts to the campaign are made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit corporation that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the University.