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Track repairs ready for bidding

AMANDA SEBASTIANO
Staff Writer

One-inch-deep cracks that present safety issues to runners, event areas that need work and less-than-safe bleachers will all be addressed over the next few weeks as the next phase in the renovation process at West Lincoln and Lincolnton High tracks gets under way.
At Monday night’s Lincoln County Board of Education Building and Site Committee meeting, Executive Director of Facilities Darrell Gettys distributed materials to local officials illustrating current conditions at the two local high school’s athletic areas that aren’t up to par.
“Everything that is being replaced is at the end of its life; it’s all rusted away,” Gettys told the committee. “We’re trying to cover all the bases.”
Engineers have put estimates on the work that needs to be done to each track, such as repaving, painting and installing new interior fencing, which will cost about $200,000 for WLHS and $300,000 for LHS.
Gettys will put the projects out for bids and will bring back the lowest offer, hopefully within the next two to three weeks, he said.
Currently, Lincolnton High is unable to host meets and students are bussed to other schools for competitions due to the condition of the field —something committee members want to change.
Lincolnton High should have the same opportunities that other schools in the county have, school board member Bob Silver said to the committee in a previous meeting. The two schools will, Gettys hopes, see new tracks before track season starts in the spring.
Gettys also discussed another project in the works at LHS, involving another area of the school — the visitors’ bleachers in the football stadium. A photograph of the current condition of the seats was given to committee members and other attendees this week, to match a visual with the problems that are present at the local high school.
All stadium seats were checked out by an engineer, who noted “facial-type” tasks that needed to be completed, such as re-surfacing the top portion of the benches. A protective railing located behind the top row of seats where patrons sit during games is missing a mesh backing that should be behind the bars. Gettys and his team will replace the railing and the backing behind the railing, along with another addition nearby.
A walkway rail will be added for event goers to use as they walk up and down the aisle steps. In order to have room for the addition, however, the steps must be made larger, which will also take some time.
Board member Clayton Mullis asked whether any temporary solutions are available to ensure that those attending events and sitting on the bleachers will be safer. Gettys verified that the area will be closed off until the $75,000 project is finished, around Oct. 5.
The cost has already been set as a result of a bid. Since the bleacher work will be financed through local funds that are considered maintenance costs, the project is already in motion and will not have to be brought before the full Board of Education.
Work will begin next week.
Other topics discussed at the committee meeting:
An update on Asbury Alternative School and renovations there.
A discussion on a state change that says no high school student can be exempt from state-required tests that are taken as final exams was led by Boysworth. Previously, end of course (EOC) tests were the only examinations that students were unable to be exempt from. Now, Measures of Student Learning assesments (MSLs) is added to the list, changing the wording to all state-level tests that cannot be bypassed, Boysworth explained. The MSLs measure teacher effectiveness, while the EOC tests rate the student’s ability to learn.
Current drug-testing regulations for Lincoln County Schools employees who operate motor vehicles.

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