Nowhere to run

Indoor track is too dangerous for home meets

Boards cover damage at the starting line of the indoor track

Caroline Enos

Boards cover damage at the starting line of the indoor track

MARIA KOTOB, Staff Writer

Almost 20 years old, the field house floor at GHS is in such a deteriorated state that the winter track team is unable to use the space. Therefore, there will be no home track meets this winter season.

Recurring issues with the floor are a result of the school’s faulty roof. Since the roof was replaced in the late 1990s, it has leaked and left water damage.

Because the state will not give the school the money to fix this issue until the roof is at least 20 years old, it has begun to leak onto the field house floor causing problems with this year’s winter sports teams.

In addition to that, holes have appeared in the floor as it slowly deteriorates because of a defect in the manufacturing. This is a safety issue that has also brought concern to athletes, gym students, and the Athletic Director.

“There are many areas of the track that are deteriorating and unsafe for us to run on,” said Athletic Director Kim Patience. “The start line has about seven big holes in the floor. The ceiling keeps leaking and especially over the start line and is leaking onto the floor, so there are a lot of hazards that are critical.”

At the moment, a roof company is addressing these concerns and putting together price quotes for the roof, which should be fixed this year.

“The soft spots are in places that people don’t run,” said senior Dylan Genovese. “Like in lane two and three, nobody runs there because that’s just more work you have to put in. I feel like we should at least try and see how it went. If we were able to compete on the track then we could work it out with other teams to get some home meets.”

Decision wise, it depends how much the school is willing to spend on repairs and which grants are available for the floor. The estimate to fix the entire roof is about 1.5 million dollars and the floor will cost between $750,000 to $1,000,000 to fix.

“I feel like we kind of got gypped. I mean, the basketball team gets to play on their home court. But yet, we can’t have home meets on the track,” said Genovese.

According to Patience, the floor started to deteriorate because of a manufacturer’s defect. When it was built in 1998, they had raised floor too high and there were too many gaps between the floor and the foundation. Also, regular fiber board was used instead of a marine-based fiber board, so the board underneath the red rubber is extremely weak and has been sinking over time due to weight and use.

“It’s something worth investing in because our student athletes always tend to be academically better students. So without sports, without a good field house, it will hurt the school,” said Patience.

“I know there was a possibility that the field house would be shut down over the summer and the floor would be fixed,” continued Patience. “If not this summer, then within the following year.”