Beloit Turner High School track facility nearly done
What it is: Work is nearly complete on a $1.2 million renovation of the track facility at Beloit Turner High School, said Brad Boll, district business manager.
What the upgrades include:
-- The former six-lane track now will have eight lanes with nine sprint lanes. The bleachers remain in the same spot, but the centerline/goal posts of the football field moved slightly to the east. More space for traffic is now available between the track and concession stand.
Eight layers of rubber and glue will be applied to the asphalt track surface in the coming weeks, and then stripes will be added.
-- New press box, lights, football scoreboard and sound system.
-- New asphalt and concrete walkways and fencing around the track. New sod inside the track has been laid, and seeding around the outside is under way.
-- The pole vault, long jump and triple jump have been moved and replaced. The high jump area is new and expanded.
The project was done in two phases, starting last fall with the lights, scoreboard and sound system. The track improvements were done this summer.
The school's first home football game is Friday, Sept. 7, against Whitewater.
Why it was needed: The school was unable to host a track meet the last two years because of the track's condition, Boll said.
In spring, the school will have at least four home track meets, starting with April 16 against Parkview, he said. That's a big deal for athletes who were not able to run at home in front of their parents and friends, he said.
How it was done: The district presented voters with two referendums in April 2008. A $6.1 million referendum to improve district buildings passed, but the $2.5 million question to upgrade the track facility and buy land failed.
The track project moved ahead with the district borrowing $600,000 through a state trust fund loan and paying the remaining $600,000 using money from the district's fund balance, Boll said.
The district was able to complete both projects sought in the failed $2.5 million referendum—the track and the land purchase last year for a new high school—for roughly $1.5 million without having to go back to referendum, he said.
"It's very much attributable to what we generate through open enrollment," he said.
Four years ago, the district had 10 more students coming than going out through open enrollment. In the 2011-12 school year, Turner netted 125 students, bringing in $800,000 outside the revenue cap. Superintendent Dennis McCarthy told The Gazette in June the district had 200 students on a waiting list for fall 2012.