Track improvements underway at Elizabethton High School

Published 8:59 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden  Employees with Benyon Sports Service work to spread out material across the track.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Employees with Benyon Sports Surface work to spread out material across the track.

After years of talks around the city, renovating the track on the Elizabethton High School campus turned into a reality this week.
With the collaborative effort from the Elizabethton School System, Citizens Bank Tri-Cities Foundation and LaPorte Foundation – work on resurfacing the area began Wednesday.
Employees from Benyon Sports Surfaces arrived to the area on Tuesday and will work with Summers-Taylors to complete the project by filling cracks and resurfacing and placing rubber material over the track. The project is estimated to take 30 days for completion, pending any delays, including inclement weather.
Joe LaPorte, with Citizens Bank and the LaPorte Foundation, played an instrumental part in providing the funding for the $400,00-plus project, along with the city school system.
Both entities, LaPorte Foundation and the Elizabethton School System, contributed approximately $200,000 on helping the project get on its feet.
Even with the camaraderie, LaPorte may look to play a fast one with Elizabethton City Schools Superintendent Corey Gardenhour.
“I did challenge Dr. G to a race once it is ready, I don’t know how that would go for either of us though” LaPorte said with a laugh.
Support from Citizens Bank has not gone unnoticed, with the track being named after the LaPorte family – LaPorte Track.
“It is an honor to have the track named for our families,” Joe said. “We really appreciate it and we’re happy to be part of this. This track will help our children develop their skills and help them grow as athletes, and people, and pursue further scholarship opportunities. This really will also be important for our city. We’ve had interest expressed by people wanting to walk it, we’ve even had people down there just a couple of days ago. It’s going to be an awesome addition for the town.”
The Citizens Bank Tri-Cities Foundation and LaPorte Foundation are continuing from over the years by assisting with projects within the city, including costly capital projects with the EHS band room and football stadium.
“We want to thank the Tri-Cities and LaPorte foundations for all their help,” Gardenhour said. “They provide so much to the community.”
The EHS track and field program boasted a laundry list of accomplishments over the years, including a Lady Cyclone program that totaled six consecutive Three Rivers Conference champions, including this past season.
With the work underway, EHS head track and field coach Leslee Bradley added that her feeling has been like a kid at Christmas.
“I’ve been down there several times in the past 48 hours,” Bradley said.
Even with the success in individual events, the head coach added that the sky is the limit for the program.
“We have a lot of great athletes at the high school,” Bradley said. “Over the years, we’ve had success, but it has been more on the individual level. Having this facility will build the excitement, make things more team-oriented and grow the sport for the school.”
The impact for the city will be key moving forward, according to Gardenhour.
“One of the biggest importances about the work being done is that it benefits everybody,” he said. “It’ll be an asset to our children and to the citizens.”
Bradley added, “this is important for our kids but also for the people of the citizens, too. This is such a tight knit community. They want to see what’s going on at their school.”
Along with work to the track, renovations are also on tap for the long jump and high jump stations to help with the run-up, according to representatives with Benyon.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox