New track coming to Piqua schools

By Sam Wildow -

NOTE: This is part two in a two-part series covering the Tuesday, Dec. 15, Piqua Board of Education meeting.

PIQUA —Runners in the Piqua school’s sports program will be running on new turf next year. During the Piqua Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, the board approved a bid from FieldTurf/Beynon for a track renovation and replacement based upon the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) cooperative purchasing pricing.

“The track itself … (we’re) looking at a red track,” Superintendent Rick Hanes said. “The passing lanes will be blue … It blends well with our stadium.”

The turf itself will have a BSS 1000 Hobart texture.

“We did get a bid in for our traditional asphalts and decided not to recommend that,” Hanes said.

Hanes stated that their predecessors “built a track that lasted many, many decades.” According to board member Frank Patrizio, the current track was installed in the mid-1980s.

“Our goal is to recommend something that is lasting as long,” Hanes said.

“Will this bring us to the possiblity of hosting track tournaments?” board member Andy Hite asked. Hanes stated that it would.

The budget source for the project will be their Premier Marketing Contract and the district’s Permanent Improvement Fund. The installation of the track will cost $479,213.58 with an additional cost of $103,957.76 to have the Hobart coating applied to the track.

The district was not required to bid the track out due to the state of Ohio previously authorizing the school districts to purchase the track at the state bid price.

Also in the realm of the Piqua’s sports program, athletic director Chip Hare spoke to the board about a proposal to change Piqua Junior High School (PJHS) softball and baseball from a club level to GWOC.

“(There’s) no pay to play, it’s all volunteer by the coaches,” Hare said. “Trying to organize parents … It’s been a little bit of a challenge.”

Going to GWOC, it will put the PJHS softball and baseball programs in the same league as their other sports programs and make them a little more organized.

There was no action taken that night.

The board also heard a building project update, which is approaching its end.

“We are very close to being finished,” business coordinator Curt South said during their building project update. South stated that they are on schedule and on budget for the demolition for all five of the older buildings.

“All those buildings are down,” South said. They are leaving the temporary fence around the sites up for as long as possible in order to allow the grass time to take root and for the safety of pedestrians.

“There are some sidewalks and curbs that are being installed,” South said. “Moving along very well … All that work will be done for the end of December.”

The Springcreek parking lot is also finished and will be able to be used when the students and staff get back from Christmas break. There are still some parking stripe lines that need to be put on, and South stated that those will be put on as weather permits.

The old Bennet School site also could be seeing a new owner in the form of the city in coming months.

There was no official vote, but the board agreed to allow Hanes to begin discussions of a potential transfer of the old Bennett site to the city after gauging the city’s interest in it.

“I think there’s good interest,” Hanes said. According to Hanes, the property would be a long-term investment for the city.

“The city has been doing studies for many years on how to redevelop the river corridor,” Hanes said. “We need to start that groundwork.”

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall