From the outside Abe Martin Stadium looks normal. On the inside though a crucial part is missing.
The District has been in the planning stages for several years and now are working on a new track. The old black-top surface is gone and now all that remains is a concrete base that is in need of repairs.
"We I came here with Coach Outlaw in 1995 the track was almost this bad," Athletic Director Todd Quick said. "The first thing outlaw said was, 'We got to have a track.' It goes hand in hand with boys and girls sports. If you can go out and be successful on the track it will carry on to the other sports. In '96 we got donors and they went out and got a new track. We had it replaced again. This will be the second time it has been replaced."
Quick said the latest replacement had some problems and the district worked around it the best they could.
"It is like if you would take an orange and peel the orange, the rubber was separating from the asphalt," Quick said. "Maintenance and coaches would come through and liquid nail it because safety is a big issue. it got to the point where we couldn't keep up with it and it had to be changed. The discussion started three years ago. We thought we were going to do it last year but we didn't. The district did a good job of helping come up with the money so now we are here and hope to have the new one in by August 5."
The addition of a new track is just the latest upgrade of the facility. Four years ago, the turf was replaced.
"We have a great place to play," Quick said. "It is a hard place to play and it will be a hard place to come run track. We like were we are at. We like the facilities. This is something you just have to do through the years."
The track is used for more than just the track season. In football games, people with special passes are able to stand on the track to get close to the action. Outside of football season, the Special Olympics use the track and turf for several events. The district also holds the city-wide track meet for elementary students at the stadium.
"We have a great place here and the space we need," Quick said." It is just not used from February to April. Track is just a small part of what it is used for during track season. Every group, every off season group, every P.E. class. Someone is always on it."
Quick said the district was told the construction process would take 55 days which would mean the project could be done by August 5. If bad weather occurs Quick said there should be enough days in between the 5th and the first scrimmage on the 24th to get the construction done.
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