Wareham school officials to seek town support for track repairs

May 24, 2018

With the track at Wareham Middle School in disrepair, school officials are seeking the town’s help for a rebuild.

On Wednesday, track coach Christopher Gardner and Wareham High School Principal Scott Palladino appeared before the School Committee seeking support. Both sought the committee’s blessing to apply for up to $200,000 in Community Preservation Act funds.

The Community Preservation Committee allocates funds every year for a variety of community projects. Each year, the committee allocates money through the state’s Community Preservation Act in four categories: open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. The money is raised through a surcharge on property tax bills. The state then matches a percentage of the town-raised money. Funds must be approved at Town Meeting.

Gardner and Palladino said the track has several holes, cracks and will soon be unusable.

“We can’t run track much longer at that facility,” said Palladino.

Gardner noted the track is used not just for sports, but by residents year-round. It also hosts the annual Relay for Life cancer walk and fundraiser. Last summer, The Vietnam Moving Wall attracted thousands of people who visited the mobile war memorial at the track.

“The track is used by the community as a whole,” said Gardner. “I think the repair will be a huge benefit for everyone.”

Garnder said $200,000 for repairs is an early estimate. That number may be lower once more research is done. Work will include resurfacing the track and adding more fencing, said Gardner.

Up next, school officials will seek support from Selectmen and then eventually place the proposal before the Community Preservation Committee.