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Charlo track replacement project postponed to 2020

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CHARLO – The Charlo community will have to wait a year longer than anticipated to recreate on an updated running track. At a June 26 special school board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to aim to start construction on June 1, 2020, intending to have the project completed before the 2020 school year begins. Previously, the board had considered starting construction this summer. 

In a newsletter to Charlo school district parents, Superintendent Steve Love said the board made the decision after considering the timeline necessary to complete construction before the winter. The school will seek bids for the project in October 2019. 

“Projects like these test our patience, commitment and unity,” Love wrote in a newsletter to Charlo families. “The last thing anybody wants is for a project of this magnitude to be done incorrectly.”

Love said the installation of the track is part of the Charlo School District’s commitment to providing students with opportunities for physical activity. 

“One of our firm beliefs is that being active helps kids succeed in school,” Love said. Love expects the installation of a new track to increase participation in track events for students and community members.

The Charlo Community Outdoor Complex, a group of residents, has been raising money to build and update recreation spaces in the community. The group raised funds that were used to update the school’s football fields. The next priority is replacing the 50-year-old track. After the school district gets bids for the project in October the board will consider whether the district will contribute to the project. The CCOC already has received donations toward the track. Love said a number of community members have offered to contribute materials and labor to install the track in addition to the monetary donations collected by the CCOC.

At the same meeting, the school board heard from a geotechnical expert who analyzed the site of the track. Love said the district got “good news” from the expert. The district will not have to excavate the site to prepare for the installation of the track. The firm recommended the district removes six inches of topsoil and replaces it with gravel to serve as a base for the track. 

Love said patience with the project would pay off. “Anytime you’re dealing with a project like this in a public school, it’s a long process and it’s very challenging, but at the end, it’s very rewarding,” Love said. “Our school district and local community members are committed to getting it done but we want it done right.”


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