By Barbara Muniz
For visitors to the track field at Busch Stadium on the City College Ocean Campus it might appear a nice area to run, but the track is about to receive a revamp since it is now over 15 years old.
Athletic Director Dan Hayes believes it is the appropriate time to replace the old track. “Truthfully, many people recommend replacing the track after 10, 15 years. So we got our money’s worth,” Hayes said.
“This one lasted a long time and if we use it too long, at some point, it will need to be exchanged,” Track Coach Nick Torres said.
Runners who use the track are excited for the upcoming repairs. Student Benjamin Scales uses the track on a normal basis and said although this track is much better than his previous high school practice area, some improvements are needed.
“Some parts aren’t even. Possibly due to some roots from underground trees,” Hayes said speaking in regards to the unlevel track field.
Based on his experience Hayes doesn’t agree trees under the soil are the main cause, but he believes it is “possibly due to climate, fog and dampness that surrounds the area.”
The track won’t only serve the colleges athletes since it will also be used for Physical Education Department classes and by people in the neighborhood who want to go for a jog. Hayes points out the track is part of the overall college facility and as such needs to be resurfaced to compete with other schools.
Hopeful the beautification of the field will attract more teams to compete, Scales is anxious to see competitions happening in the venue.
“The way [the track] is now, we wouldn’t host any track meet when there is a new competition,” Hayes said.
When asked when the resurfacing would take place Hayes couldn’t point to a specific date, “possibly, over Christmas break, but no certainty.” He is sure it wouldn’t take place during a school semester so it won’t disrupt the number of classes that is held out at the field. The lack of precision is also clear in terms of the budget needed to do the recovering of the tracking area.
“I’m the Department Chair so I point out issues to our administration, but I know it’s expensive since it is a big area,” Hayes said.
Students using the area would like to see some improvements like a pull up area and a water fountain so they can replenish their bodies with water after or during their work out. But such an enhancement is beyond Hayes’ decision-making capability and he will need to ask the people above him in the administration.
His concerns go beyond extra amenities or a future competition. According to students using the area, bubbles and unevenness are part of the worn-out track.
“Liability is a potential problem but luckily, to my knowledge, nobody ever had any significant injury,” Hayes said.
City College hopes to avoid any future liabilities with the future improvement to the track and be able to provide a world-class track the athletes, students and the local community.