Plans to build a track for student-athletes at Hobbton High School are advancing through engineering work.
During a Thursday morning meeting for the Sampson County Schools Board (SCS) of Education, Lou Nelon, executive director of auxiliary services, presented an update. He reported that athletic officials associated with the district met with engineers about the design.
“The bulk of the data needed to complete that plan has been done,” Nelon said. “The engineer is pretty far along.”
In March, board members gave permission to county school officials to proceed with using the services of Engineer Glen Tew. During that meeting, it was noted that the safest area for the track would be behind the football stadium and the girls’ softball field.
Nelon reported some of the tweaks to the plan are to make room for practice space on the north side on the project. Al Britt, athletic coordinator, and Jeff Klaves, track coach, met with engineer officials and other coaches who use the area.
“They would like to take more woodline on the northern end and make a little more of a practice area to stop discus and other things from impacting those other fields,” Nelon said.
He said the extra space is probably the final adjustment, but a surveyor may come back to make sure everything is OK.
“I don’t expect any other changes from the school at this point,” Nelon said.
The plan must be sent to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Nelon expects arrival to be mid-July or later during the month, before the next meeting for the SCS board.
“I think they met and talked about it enough,” Nelon said about local officials and their final decision.
For input, SCS board member Glen Tart made a request to have plans finalized before the next meeting for the Sampson County Board of Commissioners on July 11.
In 2015, Klaves and other Hobbton supporters made a presentation about the success of the program and the need for a track at the school located in Newton Grove. Hobbton is the only high school without a track, leaving them to practice at other locations in Sampson County.
This year, school officials received a financial report from Britt, showing an estimate of $200,000 that included costs for engineering and asphalt paving that came from previous Lakewood High School track information. Some of the amenities include a pole vault, long jump and high jump areas. Prior estimates do not include fencing, concession stands, bleachers and lights.
Besides space behind the football field, another alternative for the track’s location was near a playground at Hobbton Elementary School or by Hobbton Middle School, with access through Water Oak Lane. However, those locations had uneven land for construction. Another request was made to put the track around the existing football field, but there is not enough space.
Board to OK continuing budget
The Sampson County Board of Education is scheduled to approve a $13.75 million budget resolution at its next board meeting.
Funds will be appropriated for operations from July 1 to Aug. 31. Finance Officer Dale McLamb reported that it may take a few more weeks until everything is approved by state legislators.
The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 27, in the Sampson County Auditorium, 437 Rowan Road, Clinton.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.