New Surfaces at Lewis S. Mills?
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The well worn track of Lewis S. Mills, considered “garbage” by cross country runners like captain Nathan Virovoy, will be remodeled during the summer recess of 2016.
The Athletic Director Dave Francalangia is working with both Dave Fortin, the Building and Grounds Supervisor and Alan Beitman, the Superintendent of Region 10, in order to determine what is the best way of replacing the track since simple repairs are no longer working.
This “usable” track, said Francalangia, “needs to be replaced … (and) can’t go another year in its current state.” He explained: “Lane number 1 is unusable” for runners since parts of the lane are severely deteriorated.
The Lewis S. Mills track is used by all, from the middle school and high school sports in the spring and fall to the citizens from the town during the summer. With constant usage year round, including the damage of the ice-cold temperatures in the winter, the track has become littered with holes, divots, and cracks.
With these conditions, several seasoned runners feel as though the gaps and cracks as well as the peeling surface of the track affect their performances at meets and also see it as an embarrassment to the school.
Nicole Crockett, a runner for track and cross country called it “awful.” She added how the lines are now fading away and the surface is just simply falling apart.
Virovoy worried about tripping and face planting during an event if his track spikes get stuck in one of the many gaps that scatter the track.
The surface has been through a lot over the years from practices to meets, and its age is unknown off hand by coaches, the athletic director and grounds and building supervisor.
When Joshua Krampitz, the track and cross country coach of Lewis S. Mills was asked the age of the track, he said, “I have no idea…I know it’s been a long time.”
The much needed track resurfacing in 2016 has sparked ideas about other possible ways to improve the track area.
Teacher and golf coach Jay Pelchar said it’s “time for turf” for the center of the track. He believes with the field usage issue the school faces, having a turf field would help minimize the space constraints for sports. As long as it is “affordable and high quality” he added.
Crockett wishes see some “pizazz” on the track to show the Spartan pride at Lewis S. Mills. She possibly wants ‘Lewis S. Mills’ printed at the start of the 100 meter dash to give student athletes a sense of pride in their school.
The much needed resurfacing is most likely going to be in the “school budget under capital improvement fund” said Francalangia, “just like the tennis courts were last summer.” He added that it “must fit in the $200,000 to $250,000 budget limit in this fund.”
All that is certain is that this old, awful, worn track will be graduating this year, and replaced come summer 2016.