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School track is getting a facelift

The Buckingham County High School Track will be getting a facelift over the next few weeks in preparation of the upcoming spring sports season.

Currently, the 400-meter running track serves as a hub for track and field events, as well as community fitness use.

“The track needs repairs because the surface is peeling away in areas, thus making the track unsafe for competition,” Buckingham County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead said.

Explaining the funding, he said that the school board “requested to place $102,775 in reserve from year-end funds [from last fiscal year] envisioning needed repairs to the track. The placement of the money in reserve was with the understanding that we would advertise for bids and begin track repairs this upcoming fall. A bid was received for $143,300.”

No new money was requested for the project, Snead said, other what was already budgeted for the current fiscal year.

According to Ivan “Chip” Davis, the division’s director of facilities, the track is constructed of asphalt and covered with latex, a type of material that needs to be refurbished every seven to eight years.

According to information from the Sports Turf Managers Association STMA, “asphalt is the most frequently used paving material [for tracks]. Asphalt is a flexible pavement; it is able to ‘give’ slightly to compensate for the ground’s movement due to settling, to the action of water and to freeze/thaw activity. However, as it gets older, asphalt shrinks and hardens and is prone to cracking.”

Davis said that the track will be renovated in the same manner, receiving a new coat of asphalt with latex on top. “I am very excited about the upcoming renovations of the track here at Buckingham County High School as both a physical education teacher, and the cross country coach,” said Kish Heslip. “We utilize the track a couple days a week during class periods and every day during cross country season. …”

Renovations on the track began about a week ago. During construction, the track will be closed. The project is estimated to be completed within a month, however, many factors can influence this process, Davis said. Once all renovations are complete, the track will reopen to the public, he said.