One of the worst track and field facilities in Washoe County received a major facelift this summer.
The Dave Nolte track at Reed High in east Sparks is almost done being replaced and repaired, with striping expected to be in place by the middle of next week.
The track at Reed, which was badly cracked all around the 1/4-mile layout, got a new asphalt base, outside curbs and a new track surface this summer. The second of six rubber surface overlays was applied Monday. The rubber applied is gradually finer with each application so that the final surface is smooth.
Tony McMillen, the Washoe County School District capital projects construction director, said the last time the Reed track was replaced was in 2000.
The outside curb will help with drainage. McMillen said winter is a bad time for tracks as water freezes and thaws repeatedly. He added that asphalt loses oil over time and that parking lots also tend to break down fairly quickly.
The cost for the Reed renovation is $286,000 and is mostly bond funded with some money also provided by the school.
Other schools had their tracks repaired this summer, although not as extensively as Reed, including Reno and McQueen. McMillen said repairing the McQueen track cost $70,000 and the Reno track received $68,000 worth of repairs. Both received overlays.
McQueen received a maintenance track surface overlay, Reno got a new wear surface overlay with crack repairs. All other high schools got maintenance crack and patch repairs.
McMillen said tracks in the area start breaking down after about 10 years and need to be completely replaced when they are about 12-15 years old.
“It gets to the point you spend too much money keeping the surface safe for kids, that you’re throwing good money at bad. So you’ve got to draw the line and say cut it off. It’s time to re-do it,” McMillen said. “We don’t want to close something down for safety reasons, because of the cost to replace it.”
He said the track at North Valleys, which is 16 years old, is in bad shape and will likely be the next one replaced.
Replacing the asphalt and rubber surface on a track is not just a gift for track and field athletes. Students in physical education classes and in special education classes use the facilities every day throughout the school year.
Other schools received minor repairs to get them through another year. The track at Hug had a section repaired. McMillen said minor repairs cost anywhere from $3,000-15,000.
McMillen said he walks every track every year to inspect them all and determine the level of repairs necessary.
The track at Reed will be covered partially during football games to help protect the surface. The jump runways were also repaired.
The lanes and distances will be painted on next week, all done by hand with distance markings done to exact specifications.