Many supporters of Hobbton High School feel that student are missing out when they don’t have a track and field to call their own.
During a work session for the Sampson County Schools Board of Education, Athletic Coordinator Al Britt presented a proposed plan for the site, which includes a track and soccer field. Hobbton is the only high school without a track, leaving them to practice at other locations in Sampson County.
“The students at Hobbton High School deserve a track. Each year that we have a class that graduates, that’s a hundred and plus kids that didn’t have access to this facility,” Britt said. “The sooner this can happen, the better. Every time we graduate a class, those are kids who missed access to something everybody in the county had.”
If completed, it will be behind Hobbton High School near the football field.
“This project will fit back in there like a hand in a glove,” Britt said about the desired location.
Along with the soccer field and track, the other areas include spaces for the high jump, pole vault, triple jump and long jump and shot put. Britt also reported that it’ll have an area for discus throwing. During meets, discus competitions will take place on the field. A traffic matter with the practice space was presented by Britt, but if it’s an issue it will be moved on the football field area.
Currently, the plan does not includes lights.
“If it is completed, it’s something that we’ll have to go back and look at latter on,” said Dewain Sinclair, chairman of the board.
During a previous session, the board received a financial report showing a cost of $200,000. The estimate was based on estimates from Lakewood High School’s track construction. Britt indicated that they may be over that mark because of fill dirt work and the expenses of moving and excavating.
After several meetings among school officials, surveyors and Engineer Glen Tew, the plan will be sent to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for approval.
“They can give us a ballpark number,” Britt said about that cost. “As you know, construction numbers and day-to-day rates will change. At that time, maybe we can submit bids.”
Britt said it may take two months for DPI officials to send estimates back to the district, before approvals for bids and a construction company. During that time, workers would need to dodge the beginning and ending of school to avoid interruptions with traffic and buses. An official timeframe was not announced It was suggested that it may be ready in a year or two.
In 2015, supporters made a presentation regarding a need for a track to school and county officials. During the Wednesday meeting, Sinclair discussed how it’s an inconvenience for students and coaches who have to practice at other facilities.
“They never had a home game and you’re concerned about the safety of all the driving and the cost of doing that as well,” Sinclair said. “It cost a lot of money for these kids to travel.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.