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April 02. 2013 11:21PM

Goffstown OKs Barnard Park repairs

GOFFSTOWN - The school board allocated close to $30,000 for repairs to the track and field facilities at Barnard Park.

The allocation was necessary, according to SAU 19 Superintendent Stacy Buckley, because the facilities are in such disrepair that not investing in them could put the existence of the high school's track and field team in jeopardy.

Buckley made her comments at the board's Monday meeting.

Specifically, Buckley said the area around the discus and shot-putting circle needs to be fixed, which includes replacing the safety netting around the circle.

"If we don't invest in it, we can't have that (discus) event," Buckley said, adding that without the investment, "we may not have a track and field team. It's something that has to be done."

School Board Chairman Dian McCarthy said she didn't want to spend the money at the expense of another program within the school district. "I very much want to be supportive of this, but I also want to know that we're not doing it at the expense of something else," McCarthy said.

Buckley said the money to repair the track and field facilities at Barnard Park will come from "unencumbered funds" in the operating budget as well as savings realized in the health insurance line of the school district's budget. Buckley said the district has been able to save approximately $34,000 this year due to district employees switching to various - and in some cases, cheaper - insurance carriers.

The discus circle at Barnard Park is located near the long jump pit and the straight-away portion of track that's used for pole vaulting by members of the track and field team. The quarter-mile oval portion of track is also used by the public.

The money coming from the school district to repair the facility represents only half the money necessary to make all the repairs, Buckley said, adding the town picked up the tab for the remaining 50 percent.

"The agreement with the town was that we'd each pay half to repair the track," Buckley said. "The town has already spent their half."

Although there is a quarter-mile track at Barnard Park, the high school's track team has never held a meet there, according to school board member Keith Allard. "Because of the surface of the track (blacktop), it's not suitable for meets," said Allard.

Buckley said there just isn't enough room to host multiple teams and spectators. "We'll never have a home meet there because it's not big enough, and there's no parking," Buckley said.

hmetz@unionleader.com


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