Construction is complete and lanes are painted on the new track at Napanee District Secondary School.
Gone is the cracked and faded black surface that ran along the perimeter of the school’s football field, replaced with a pink track equipped with detailed lane markings.
Work began on the first day of school last September with the intent it would be completed before winter. Mother Nature however, had other ideas.
“We really hoped that it was going to be done by fall,” said NDSS principal Erin Pincivero. “The weather did not cooperate over the summer and into the fall so it needed to be finished this spring. It resulted in us not having a football season at home and it did interrupt some rugby and our kids weren’t able to train for track and field here, they had to go to Kingston. It was a frustrating fall and spring for our athletes and our coaches, but the payoff is huge.”
While unfortunate for Hawks teams who didn’t get the benefit of any home games this season, there was no denying the work needed to be done.
“It was in terrible shape,” Pincivero said of the previous track. “There was grass growing in it and it was in really rough shape. It needed to be redone anyway and this came under the category of a repair for the Limestone District School Board and that’s how it was funded. We’re so grateful to the Heritage Race, who kind of spearheaded it by saying lets do something with this track. That got us looking into how big can we go and they really provided the motivation.”
Limestone enlisted Playteck Enterprises for the installation of the rubberized service with the direction to model the markings of Kingston’s Invista Centre. NDSS’ track now contains lane marks for hurdles, relay races and two 100 metre courses at opposite ends of the track.
Proceeds from 2017’s Heritage Race, which were $12,500, were donated to kick start NDSS’ track revitalization. As a token of their appreciation, the school will install plaques that denote the Heritage Race’s contribution onto new bleachers that have been set up alongside the track.
Though on the school’s property, the running surface is viewed as a community track.
“We’re going to ask the community to be respectful and that it’s only for running, jogging and walking,” said Pincivero. “There’s to be no wheeled devices (with the exception of wheelchairs) out there. No strollers, scooters or rollerblades out there.”
Signs asking for the public’s cooperation will soon be installed and the track will be under video surveillance.
“We want this to look this way in a decade,” said Pincivero. “This is going to take all of us being respectful.”
An official opening is in the works for September with the plan to invite some of the school’s biggest track stars to celebrate. In the meantime, the first ‘unofficial’ major event to be hosted will be The Prince Charles School’s track and field day, which will be June 21.
Over the summer further work will be done to the school’s long jump area, installing a rubberized running strip.