The Weyauwega-Fremont School District is seeking at least two more estimates for how much it would cost to repair the track.
When the school district’s Track Committee met Monday, Dec. 6 in the high school auditorium, there was consensus to do so, with the goal to have those additional estimates before the school board’s committee meeting in January.
“It keeps everybody honest. It keeps the public informed,” School Board President Neal Loehrke said in recommending that there be three open and competitive bids.
Others were in agreement.
District Administrator Scott Bleck said the idea is not to slow down the project but to take it step by step.
“I think the public would like to see that someone else has been contacted,” said Matt Wilbert, who is the school district’s middle and high school principal.
At the school board’s Nov. 29 meeting, a $600,000 estimate from Rettler Corporation of Stevens Point was brought before the board.
That estimate includes paved surfaces around the track, a rubber track surface and a long and triple-jump area.
The next day, Wilbert learned that Rettler would drop its price by $10,000 – essentially the amount the district paid for the maps and soil borings done by the company.
“We have to come to a consensus,” Wilbert said during the Dec. 6 meeting of the Track Committee. “Do we want to save, save, save, or do we want to cut, cut, cut? I think that will determine our path.”
For the last couple years, $300,000 has been set aside to repair the track. The blacktop on the track is 25 years old, with many cracks in it.
Parents and coaches say the present condition of the track make it a safety hazard.
Discussion during the Track Committee’s most recent meeting included the desire to have local contractors bid on the project and how the community can take ownership in the project.
Committee member Tom Fitzpatrick said many people he has talked to said that volunteers could do the landscaping.
In regard to the proposal for paving – including around the concession area – Wilbert said that could be left out of the project.
However, repairing the track but not doing the other things around the track could leave the impression that it was not done right, he said.
Bleck compared it to building a brand new house and then not putting siding on it.
Plans also call for information about the present condition of the track and the proposal to repair it and enhance the area around it to be set up at the school by week’s end so that those going to basketball games can learn about it.
Their idea is to put the information out to the public and to ask community members how they would be willing to help and also for any comments they have about the proposal.
Middle School Track Coach Julie Hendricks said there are parents interested in going door to door in the community to talk about the project. High School Track Coach Nick Winn said students who are in the track program also want to do so.