Dade Co. High School to rebuild 'botched' running track - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dade Co. High School to rebuild 'botched' running track

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DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Students who run track at one North Georgia High School will have to wait even longer before its team can host any meets. Last Fall, contractors built a brand new running track at Dade County High School. It turned out, the length and width of the track did not meet regulations. After looking at all options, the school board decided it was best to just start all over again.

Last Spring the Dade County Board of Education opened the bidding process to build a new track. The project came in at $300,000, all paid with SPLOST tax money. School leaders and athletes were not too happy when they found out the track was pretty much useless.

"I don't the last time they've run a home track meet here," says track coach Glen Hicks.

It has been decades since Dade County High School hosted a track meet. Teams have always had to travel to other schools.  That is why even with delays in the construction process, the school community was excited to see new pavement go down last Fall.

"It stretched into football season. They had just put the topping on and you have the topping on and then put another topping," says Superintendent Cherie Swader.

The excitement only continued to build. But there was a slight problem. When crews came out to stripe it, the track's measurements just did not add up. It is still not exactly clear just how 'off' the measurements are.

"Well, there's some discrepancy on that," says Swader. "So, I'm not really going to make a statement on on that because there's been a little bit of discrepancy on supposedly the width and they thought that maybe they could adjust that."

"Our track athletes, and for me too, it was a big disappointment. As a matter of fact, we had already had three meets scheduled for here," says Hicks.

Hicks has coached track the past two years. He says his team will have to wait another year before it can host a meet. After looking at several options, the school board decided it was best to tear up the track and start over. In they meantime, the team still practices on the botched track, trying to stay positive.

"We just hope that it's rectified. And we just want our kids to have the same playing field that everybody has and I know our board's trying to do that. I just hope they have it ready for next year," says Hicks.

"Sometimes those valleys seem a little bit dark, but then when you get it done you are able to celebrate and that's the good thing," says Swader.

Because the new track is made out of such quality materials, it is going to take even longer to demolish the new one than it did the old one. Superintendent Swader says at this point, there should be no extra costs involved, saying the contractor is doing the right thing by fixing it.
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