BOE ready for track bids

Published 1:38 am Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Covington County Board of Education agreed to let bids for their new track and field facility at a special-call meeting Monday.

Architect Walter McKee estimated the total cost for the facility, without the lights included, would be around $3.3 million.

In February, the board purchased 110 acres of land located off Hwy. 55, which Superintendent Shannon Driver described as centrally located, and within 20 to 22 minutes’ driving distance from each of the county’s high schools.

The first challenge that the contractors will face is moving 60,000 cubic yards of dirt, said McKee.

“That will be the biggest task,” McKee said. “It should take about two to three months to move all of the dirt.”

Mckee said that the track itself would be 12 feet below the rim of the concourse and Driver believes it will be the only facility like it in the state.

“I have never been to a track where you can see every event,” Driver said. “I think ours will be available for that.”

McKee said that the facility was designed that way to maximize the view of the audience.

The 8-lane track itself will be made of urethane, which McKee said is mostly used by colleges. The track will have adjacent spaces for high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump events.

“I think if we use urethane then it will last longer and cut costs in the long run,” McKee said. “The facility will probably be one of the only high schools in the state to have this material on your track.”

There is also extra acreage to build a 5,000-meter cross-country course.

The facility will also have 130 spaces in the parking lot for cars, and 9 spaces for buses.

“There is an area for extra parking in the grass,” McKee said. “If a lot of people show up to a meet and there isn’t a place to park, they can’t parallel park on the highway, so we made sure there was extra space for parking.”

The facility will also have 500 seats for the fans, as well as pavilions for fans to set up lawn chairs.

“There are also seats for handicap accessibility,” McKee said. “And a handicap ramp.”

Each team will have a storage area and there will be two 1,000 square feet pavilions that are in the shade.

“I think that having this amazing track and field facility will attract several students to Covington County schools,” McKee said.