BELOIT, Wis. — On your mark, get set…go! Track athletes at Beloit Turner High School in Beloit, Wis., will now be able to host a home meet, thanks to a $1.2 million track renovation.
The school was unable to host a track meet for the last two years due to the track’s poor condition, making it unsuitable for athletes, according to Brad Boll, business manager for Beloit Turner School District.
The project was completed in two phases, starting last fall with the installation of new lights, a scoreboard, press box and sound system. The track improvements were completed this summer including expanding the track lanes to include eight lanes with nine sprint lanes, instead of the former six lanes; creating more space between the track and concession area; eight layers of rubber and glue being applied to the asphalt track surface in the coming weeks; new sod inside the track, and seeding around the outside is underway.
“In spring, the school will have at least four home track meets, starting April 16 against Parkview,” Boll said in a statement. “That’s a big deal for athletes who were not able to run at home in front of their parents and friends.”
Athletes will be able to wear their “home” jerseys for the first time in two years, thanks to the district’s commitment to bettering the facility. The renovations were almost nonexistent if it wasn’t for the persistence of the Beloit Turner School District. When voters were asked to vote on two bond referendums back in April 2008 — a $6.1 million referendum to improve district buildings and $2.5 million to upgrade the track facility and buy additional land — the upgrades to the track fell short of voter support.
Although the bond didn’t receive enough support, the project continued to stay afloat and under budget from what was requested in the referendum, as the district borrowed $600,000 through a state trust fund loan and paid a remaining $600,000 by using money from the district’s fund balance, according to Boll in a statement.
The new track facility has district officials pleased, as well as students in the area wanting to experience the new facility first-hand. The district had 200 students on a waiting list for this upcoming fall school year, according to Superintendent Dennis McCarthy in a statement.