New Track Beset by Problems

After 20 years of pounding from Stratford runners, the track was replaced this summer.

Part of a larger series of renovations to the football stadium, the rubberized track was torn out and completely replaced.  The new surface was poured in May, and was supposed to set during the summer heat.  According to Head of School Dr. Robert Veto, the new track– including the surface and a fresh set of lines — was originally supposed to be completed by the end of the summer.

But a month into the new school year, the track remains unpainted, and the brand new surface is marred by potholes and an uneven surface that tends to pool water when it rains.

Senior cross country runner Chandler Banks first noticed problems with the track during practices over the summer.

“It didn’t live up to the expectations,” said Banks, who has run on the cross country and track teams since middle school. “And it’s frustrating that it’s so uneven and holds three to four inches of water in some places.  The old track was a lot better. It had lines, it was even, and it didn’t flood in some places.”

One of the potholes on the new track.  The new surface was laid down over the summer.
One of the potholes on the new track. The new surface was laid down over the summer.

School officials, including Veto, Athletic Director Mark Farriba, and Boys Track Coach Walt Mays declined to comment on specific problems with the track.

“We’re negotiating  with the company to fix some problems and get everything corrected,” Veto said.  “The water issue may be a problem with some drainage under the field. That may be a problem of our own and not with the company.”

Mays said that the track was long overdue for a replacement.

“This track was over 20 years old, and a track like this is supposed to be resurfaced every 10 years,” he said.

The track is the centerpiece of one of Stratford’s most accomplished sports programs.  Both boys and girls track have won multiple state championships over the past decade, and the boys took home the GISA AAA state championship for the fourth year in a row last spring.