Agreements finalized for new track in Basalt
Officials from the Roaring Fork School District, Town of Basalt and the Field of Dreams committee have finalized intergovernmental agreements and financial commitments to push forward plans for a new all-weather track at Basalt High School.
At the RFSD board of education meeting Feb. 25, the school board voted to commit $75,000 to the track project. The district contribution adds to a total $11,000 committed by the Town of Basalt and $40,000 raised by volunteers. Established in fall 2000, the Field of Dreams group has raised both money and numerous donations of services for the track project.
“The Field of Dreams committee is an amazing group of volunteers. It’s just been an incredible community effort,” said Shannon Pelland, RFSD finance director.
The estimated $325,000 project in Basalt will include a regulation-sized, all-weather track, perimeter fencing and other competition areas such as high jump and long jump pits. In-kind donations from local businesses will cover some of the work for grading, landscaping and football field drainage.
Field of Dreams has applied for $200,000 in Great Outdoors Colorado funds to complete the project. If the GOCO grant is awarded in mid-June, the project could be finalized by summer 2005.
“We will be proceeding with the track project, including major
groundbreaking in July 2004, if the GOCO grant is approved,” Pelland said.
The finance director noted that all three of the high school tracks in the district have been joint efforts of municipalities and citizens. A new track dedicated at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale in fall 2003 was built with $65,000 in GOCO funds along with funding from the school district, Town of Carbondale and local donors. The primary funding for the track at Glenwood Springs High School, built in the early 1980s, came through a group of involved citizens and the City of Glenwood Springs.
Basalt High School Athletic Director Michael Green said he is excited about the track project, noting BHS track athletes have traveled to Glenwood Springs to practice once or twice a week.
“It will be a great asset for everyone in the Basalt community,” Green said. “We’ve been looking to get our facilities completed since the school opened in 1997. This will be one more step toward the finished project and being able to hold track meets and other athletic events at BHS.”
The Fields of Dreams group, co-chaired by Jo Gawrys and Leslie Newbury, is a sub-committee of the Basalt High School sports booster club and has raised some $400,000 in monetary and in-kind donations during the last three years to build a sports complex at the high school.
“The committee needs to be commended for their efforts to get it done,” Green said. “There has been a lot of time and energy put in by a lot of people to benefit not only the community but the students.”
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