Unexpected problems delay track resurfacing

By Christopher Tenpenny

The Harrisonville R-9 School District does not expect to have a fully surfaced track for the 2021-2022 school year after complications with the base and drains were found. The announcement was made during the R-9 School Board’s July 20

While evaluating the base of the track, Mid-America Sports Construction found soft spots in the track caused by water damage. Harrisonville Superintendent Paul Mensching said they performed a compact test with an empty dump truck and the give of the ground was visible as the truck drove over the surface. Compact tests are typically performed with a full dump truck.

The initial plan was to remove only two inches of asphalt before resurfacing. Now, all four inches of asphalt will be removed in order to repair the soft spots.

“We will not have a track for football season and we will not have a track for spring,” Mensching said. “To put the asphalt on in the summer we will be fine, but to put the track surface on it has to be 55 degrees and rising for 20 days. We do not have enough gap in our activities where we can kick them off for two weeks and let the track sit before the weather gets cold. That puts us to next spring where the best bet is to wait until the summer to resurface.”

Damage to the drains at Memorial Stadium have also been found and may have been caused during the removal of the track surface. The drains were old and brittle, making it nearly impossible to remove the surface without damage.

Mensching said they are looking into the damages and evaluating what the next steps should be. The draining system was a factor in creating the soft spots as the drains between the track and stadium were unable to handle down pours without water seeping onto the track.

There is no timeline on when the asphalt will be resurfaced, but Mensching is optimistic it will be completely laid by Aug. 27, the day of the first home high school football game. The initial cost for the construction at the track was $457,000 and while no new cost estimate has been determined, Mensching said the price will increase.

Other items discussed at the meeting included an update from Newkirk Novak on other construction projects taking place in the school district. The other projects are on schedule with exception to work on the outside of the Early Childhood Center.

The steel shortage will delay some materials coming in, but it will not affect the interior of the building should the materials arrive after school has started.

The Harrisonville Technology Department gave an overview on the inventory of devices throughout the schools as well as new features parents will have access to when their child brings home a device.

Parents can now monitor the top 10 websites their child visits, how much time they spend and limit their browsing control during non-school hours.