Our track and field repair project has been underway since mid-July. We very much hope that our new track will be available for the spring season and Grant Field for the fall. Application of the track’s final surface layer, scheduled to begin by mid-October, is weather dependent. If conditions allow, the final layer will be applied this fall and the track will be ready for spring. We’ll remain optimistic.
When the proposed Grant Field and stadium project failed this past March, we were compelled to use available funds to advance a track replacement plan. The track was already unsafe for use, and it was easy to decide that funds had to be invested in the facility. Additionally, as a result of an increasingly challenging field surface, the Board wanted to consider field improvements but with natural rather than synthetic turf. School District owned property in the North Salem area was sold rather quickly after getting voter approval in March. These funds, as well as the available track replacement funds, was then applied to address both field and track project expenses.
Visitor side bleachers were demolished because the track and the field will be slightly shifted from their original locations. This is a result of adding additional running lanes and ensuring that lanes are regulation widths. Improving the track will allow us to host state and regional meets. We do not plan to replace the bleachers at this time. Contractors installed a temporary fence for safety
The track has been pulverized and removed as was the field surface and most of the original drainage pipes. An improved drainage system will ensure a better field playing surface. The contractor discovered several failures with the original drainage system, and replacing the drains and system all together was the only solution. Also, we learned that original electrical conduits were not buried to required code depth, and therefore all electrical conduit is also being replaced. Finally, we will continue to need irrigation, and the system will be installed prior to field completion.
A trench drain will be installed at the field perimeter and anchors will be installed to accommodate an eventual synthetic turf field. With limited town playing surfaces, a synthetic field will open opportunities for much more playing time.
As of the last days of August the contractor is about three days behind the initial draft schedule, but company officials believe that good weather will allow them to sufficiently catch up the time. Track paving should begin by mid-September and will require twenty days to cure. The track surface is scheduled to be applied by mid-October. The natural turf will be installed by late September and will be ready as a playing surface next August.