Fact-checking the new track


As trucks and construction workers begin to occupy the grass in front of the high school, progress begins on the new turf field and all-weather track.  Before forming an opinion about the building of a new field, it is important to know the facts behind the project.

As of now, Big Spring is the only school in the Mid-Penn conference to use a cinder track.  According to the running brand Livestrong, cinder tracks don’t provide the cushioning that the newer all-weather tracks provide.  A track made of rubber latex holds up better, has more cushioning for the runners, and is less maintenance than a cinder track.  An all-weather track also has the ability to add rubber based upon the amount of cushioning needed for the runners.

The turf field will be beneficial for athletes who will have the chance to practice on the appropriate surface before playing other schools with turf.

Superintendent Richard Fry says that the track is actually part of the stadium renovation project that was completed last year.  The new track could either be built over the existing one or built as a stand alone, which would be more cost effective.  If the track was to be built in the stadium, both sets of bleachers would have needed to be moved and the field leveled, which, economically, didn’t make sense.

Inside the track will be a sports turf field that meets the needs of all respective sports teams.  This turf field is much needed, especially after rainy weather where a grass field would be torn up.

The stadium project has been part of a refinancing process which includes a loan already used to fix Newville Elementary school. There was also $800,000 set aside from the football stadium renovation project.

The project is expected to be complete by early August, just in time for the fall sports season.  Each outdoor fall sport will have the opportunity to play and practice on the new turf, however, football will continue to play their games in the Bulldog Stadium.

The new complex will have half bleachers on each side with Jiffy John’s and potentially a small concession stand. Infrastructure is also a possibility, but will be built at a later time.

Despite all this, negative comments and opinions about the project with no prior knowledge or justification continue to surface on Facebook and Twitter.  The project is a step in the right direction for the school district, and knowing the facts behind it is necessary before forming an unfair opinion.