WOOLWICH TWP. — The Kingsway Regional Board of Education Board of Education awarded a public bid to American Athletic Courts, Inc. on Aug. 22 to make necessary improvements to the high school track and stadium field. The cost of the total project bid award was $2,409,015.
Improvements include a new eight-lane synthetic track to replace the dilapidated track, which was prohibited for use in competition in fall 2014. The current track was built in 1992 and is a six-lane latex surface.
Despite a number of repairs, the track has delaminated beyond repair. In an email to the district, a Rules Interpreter wrote, “the track, pole vault, runway, and long jump runway have delaminated to the point of being unsafe for competition.” Student athletes who participate in track have not been permitted to use their home field in five seasons.
The project also includes the addition of a synthetic multi-sport turf field and various other improvements to benefit field events such as pole vault, long jump discus and high jump. This project is expected to be complete within 120 days from commencement of the project.
“As a Group 4 School, our student athletes are competing against schools with similar resources.
This project not only resolves a number of critical issues but literally evens the playing field for them,” said Dr. James J. Lavender, Superintendent. Kingsway presently competes against Shawnee, Cherokee, Williamstown, and Washington Township, to name a few.
In March 2016, a $12 million sports complex referendum was defeated by voters in the district’s sending municipalities. That referendum included replacing the track, installing the synthetic turf field, enlarging the football stands and press box, constructing a new bus maintenance building, expanding the existing field house, and constructing a new track and field/band field.
A $3.92 million version was approved in November 2016 that included the new eight-lane surface track, field event upgrades, visitor side bleacher and stadium lights relocation due to the expanded track surface, replacement of a natural grass field, new fencing around the football and varsity baseball stadiums, new 1-story storage building and the renovation of an existing storage facility into transportation office and additional mechanics bays.
By Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher