Riverview High School’s track team may have home-field advantage next school year after two consecutive seasons on the road.
Oakmont council awarded an estimated $61,000 repair project to New York-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces to fix the track in the lower section of the borough’s Riverside Park.
Meets were first rescheduled in March 2018, when it was determined the track does not meet competition standards. The borough owns and maintains the park.
Track season starts in March with state competitions scheduled in late May. This season’s meets were scheduled elsewhere prior to council’s unanimous vote Feb. 18 to repair the track.
Interim borough Manager Harry Dilmore said construction is expected to take place in the spring.
“It’s a great thing,” he said about the project. “It’s great to be able to run on the track and not be encumbered by anything.”
The track is damaged by tree roots that have pushed it up and made it uneven. There are several bumps in lane one and another in lane two. The team still practices on the track, which has not been closed to the community.
Council awarded a $22,780 tree-removal contract to BeaverJack Tree Service in mid-October.
Nine trees were cut down and root barriers were installed at five of them.
Oakmont Shade Tree Commissioner Jonathan Dreher and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Forester Celine Colbert are working with the borough on a plan to replant trees in the park.
District Athletic Director Mario Rometo said students and parents had to make some adjustments for the track team, and should be excited to come back to Riverside once the track is repaired and inspected.
“I know our student athletes will be thrilled to run home meets again next season,” he said. “We will definitely monitor the progress and inspect once it is finished, just as we do with all of our athletic facilities.”
The borough bought the all-weather track from Nagle about seven years ago.
The company was the lowest of three bidders. Other companies were McElroy Paving at around $64,500 and Plavchak Construction at $103,000.
Environmental Planning & Design prepared project specifications. It also had a second bid go out for complete track resurfacing.
Dilmore said Nagle was again the lowest bidder round $194,000 with the other same two companies bidding more than $207,000. However, council did not vote to approve the second contract.
Borough officials said they plan to explore funding options for a complete repair, and wanted to at least approve a deal that would get students back on the track.
Council budgeted $70,000 for the repair. The borough sent a letter to Riverview School District asking for a financial commitment for track repairs.
School board member Alex DiClaudio said track repairs were not in this school year’s budget, and could not confirm if it would be in the 2019-20 spending plan.
“Until we get deeper into the budget process, it’s difficult for us to say what we can do next year with certainty,” DiClaudio said.
Municipalities adopt their budgets in December. School districts approve their final spending plan for the following school year in June.