North Rowan High to get a new track – again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Sarah Nagem
North Rowan High School is getting a new track ó again.
One year after Court One of Granite Quarry began laying a new running track at the school, workers will soon begin tearing up the rubber surface to make way for a new one.
The surface did not adhere properly to the asphalt beneath it, school officials said.
The re-do project will cost about $126,000, said Bill Burgin of the Salisbury architecture firm Ramsay, Burgin and Smith, which is working with the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
Last year, the school system agreed to pay $280,000 for Court One to install a new track and to resurface three tennis courts.
The company started laying the track last September, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Gene Miller said.
“It took an unusually long time to get it down,” he said.
Then the company ran into drainage problems, Miller said. Workers installed a new drainage system, but some areas of the track had water issues.
A performance bonding company involved with Court One will cover the costs to install a new rubber surface, Miller said. It shouldn’t cost the school system anything.
School board chairman Dr. Jim Emerson said he hopes the project will be finished by spring.
“We don’t want track season to be upon us and that work not having been completed,” Emerson said.
Some North Rowan supporters have complained to Rowan County Commissioners about the track, which began crumbling in some places.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted Monday to move forward with getting a new track in place.
“We need to make that track right, and it needs to be sooner rather than later,” said board member Karen Carpenter, who represents the northern district of the county.
Workers will likely spend about three weeks laying the new rubber, Burgin said. He hopes the equipment won’t tear up the asphalt underneath in the process.
Also during the meeting:
– School board members voted 4-2 against spending an extra $95,000 to get the press box at Carson High School’s football stadium up to state code.
The press box, which was completed a couple of weeks ago, has to be handicapped accessible, Miller said.
Press boxes at other Rowan-Salisbury schools don’t have to be updated because the code is only in place for press boxes built within the last couple of years, he said.
Miller had set aside $60,000 to install wheelchair access to the Carson press box. But he later learned that amount wasn’t nearly enough.
A stair climber would have cost about $155,000 ó $95,000 over budget, Miller said.
Board members Linda Freeze and Jean Kennedy cast the only votes in favor of spending the extra cash, so the motion failed.
Other options Miller looked into were a $225,000 elevator or a $280,000 ramp.
“This is a little bit ridiculous,” Emerson said of the steep price tags, adding that a press box only gets used about five nights a year.
The state Department of Insurance requires that press boxes are up to code, Miller said.
No one can legally use the press box since the school board declined to spend the money, he said.
– The school board voted to declare this week Graduation Awareness Week in the Rowan-Salisbury system.
N.C. Gov. Mike Easley announced the state will celebrate graduation awareness this week.