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Several favor fresh start with new track
Richard Manning
Richard Manning tells members of the School Board he would like to construct a track that will give the school system pride.

Don’t put a bandage on the track at Nunley Stadium so it can limp along for a few more years. It would be better to start from scratch and build a new track on the campus of Warren County High School.

Those were the opinions expressed by civil engineer Dave Allmon and Rotary Club fundraising chair Richard Manning during the most recent School Board meeting held at Dibrell School.

“This will never be a postseason track,” said Allmon referring to the track at Nunley Stadium. “And I know a postseason track is something you’d like to have.”

It was explained that eight lanes are required to hold TSSAA postseason track events and the track on the WCMS campus only has six lanes. Expanding the track is not feasible because it is squeezed between the stadium and football field with no room to spare.

Allmon also pointed out the slope of the existing track is erratic. It is supposed to be a consistent 1%, but it ranges in places up to 3% or 4%.

“I think you need to look at developing a master plan and then you can begin to apply costs,” said Allmon when asked the price tag of a new track at WCHS. “It could be a project where you have phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3.”

Manning said current cost estimates to upgrade the Nunley Stadium track have climbed to about four times what was expected. He said those efforts were to provide a rubberized surface to the track to give runners a little bounce.

“When you get to the number we’re seeing and you still can’t have postseason competitions, it doesn’t seem a good value,” said Manning. “We need something that will give the school district a lot of pride if we’re going to raise the amount of money that we’re talking about.”

In moving the track to the WCHS campus, it was also mentioned that a new football stadium could be part of those plans. Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows said he realizes there’s “a lot of emotion” surrounding Nunley Stadium and said this would be a long-range project.

“I think if you’re being wise, you have to study everything,” said Swallows.

School Board member Bill Zechman is against spending more money on the track at Nunley Stadium.

“Do we want to invest in something inherently limited?” he asked.