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Rain doesn't delay replacement of Pine-Richland track

| Monday, July 13, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
The new track surface at Pine-Richland Stadium is being installed and should be ready for use by mid-August.
The new track surface at Pine-Richland Stadium is being installed and should be ready for use by mid-August.
The new track surface at Pine-Richland Stadium is being installed and should be ready for use by mid-August.
The new track surface at Pine-Richland Stadium is being installed and should be ready for use by mid-August.
The new track surface being installed at Pine-Richland Stadium includes new long and triple jump pits that are designed to keep from losing sand.
The new track surface being installed at Pine-Richland Stadium includes new long and triple jump pits that are designed to keep from losing sand.

The track-replacement project at Pine-Richland Stadium is moving along on schedule despite the rainy weather this summer, athletic director Josh Shoop said.

The existing red rubber track surface was demolished and removed from the site in June, and the new surface should go on beginning July 20, said project manager Dan Engen, with VEBH Architects in Mt. Lebanon.

Core samples taken of the dirt subsurface below the track revealed that it still was intact, so the asphalt base layer did not need to be milled, which is saving the district considerable time and money, Shoop said.

The track-replacement contract was awarded to ATT Sports Inc., based in Berlin, N.J., for $424,583 in May. VEBH Architects is the project designer.

The D-zones, the half moon-shaped areas between the track and the end zone, were milled and repaved. The asphalt needs two weeks to cure.

The track was 14 years old, a few years beyond its expected lifespan of 10 to 12 years, Shoop said. The new track surface should last 10 to 12 years if properly maintained and could last longer.

Shoop said the track coaches were heavily involved with the planning for the new track, especially head coach Bill Crummy.

“He had a vision for what would be the best use of the track for our athletes,” Shoop said. “We also took advice from other schools. We looked at how they have done things and talked to their athletic departments. But our track coaches in particular, they're the ones out there every week to see the track and how things run.”

The pole vault pit was moved from the south D-zone to the north D-zone. New long-jump and triple boxes were constructed on the south D-zone with aluminum boxes and catch basins on each side so sand that flies out when jumpers land can be reused, Shoop said.

The jumping boxes also were moved to get the ramps off the track, so now track and field events can be run simultaneously. Pine-Richland hosts two large meets each year — an invitational meet and the WPIAL northern qualifier — so the new track ought to help these events run more smoothly, Shoop said.

“We used to have to run each event separately,” he said. “This makes for a much quicker event.”

The new red rubber track surface will be applied beginning July 20 and take about three weeks to complete. It will take another couple of days to paint on the track competition lines, Shoop said.

During this time, the stadium will be closed to visitors and sports teams. Shoop said teams have been holding informal practices through the summer, and any teams who had planned to use the stadium will be relocated to another field.

The project is slated to be finished Aug. 14, just before fall sports seasons officially begin Aug. 17.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364.

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