New $1.3 million track renovation coming to Oak Ridge
Facility will support high school and middle school competitions, plus hosting of special events.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Student athletes and their coaches are looking forward to a new, world-class track and field facility at Oak Ridge High School, with groundbreaking happening last Friday.
The school system and the City of Oak Ridge have teamed up for the $1.3 million project that will start with demolition, site preparation and all-new engineering and construction at the current track next to Oak Ridge High School.
“Our team has been running on this subpar facility for years. It’s going to give our teams the opportunity to hold some big meets that we have wanted to hold and host. I think it will be a bonus for our whole athletic program, but especially with respect to track and the City of Oak Ridge,” ORHS Athletic Director Joe Gaddis said.
The new track will be for high school and middle school athletes to hold meets and a gathering place for regional events that invite several other track teams.
Oak Ridge High School has a proud tradition of being very competitive in track and field. ORHS Principal Garfield Adams, Ed.D., is credited with working alongside school and community leaders to coordinate this milestone project.
In addition to the new track surface and related construction, it will include several state-of-the-art field event areas. A new digital display board will have new opportunities for sponsorships to support ongoing athletic programs. A website is established for donating equipment and connecting for facility sponsorships.
The facility will keep the same name, Ben Martin Track, for the TSSAA Hall of Fame member with ties as a coach and teacher in Oak Ridge, credited with several state championships.
Current ORHS Head Track Coach Tom Sauer is enthusiastically planning for a 2022 spring track season that involves adjustments such as alternate practice locations, and no home meets during track construction. He feels it is worth the sacrifice for the long-term benefits the all-new facility will bring.
“You deserve the best because you put forth the best! I am blessed to work in a school system that literally puts the kids first. This is just a physical representation of that. It’s the beginning of great things to come at Oak Ridge High School!”
Oak Ridge Track & Field Boosters was established to help fundraising for these complements to the main track construction project. The community is invited to sponsor various areas such as a high jump pit, pole vault pit, and hurdles.
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