Dear GJSD Community,
I would like to take a moment to update our community on the timeline of completion for the small capital project that has affected the use of the Knox track and turf field by our fall athletic teams, and for the community.
I will lead with the good news — we expect to have Knox Field open by Monday, Sept. 25 in time to host varsity field hockey home games on both Tuesday, Sept. 26 and Thursday, Sept. 27 next week. Varsity football will return to Knox Field for their home game on Friday, Oct. 13, and play home games there for the remainder of the season.
The final phase of the track reconstruction includes painting running lanes on the new track surface, which takes a minimum of two days. Once completed, the painted lanes need 24 hours to “cure.” Crews are set to begin lining the track on Thursday, Sept. 21 and continue through Friday, Sept. 22 – possibly into Saturday, Sept. 23.
The only thing that could possibly affect this schedule is of course, weather. However, the current forecast is not calling for any precipitation through Saturday, which leaves me feeling optimistic about the proposed timeline that I’ve laid out above.
Please remember that the track and field are closed to the public until this work can be completed. The bridal path on the upper level of Knox Field remains open for the community, unless otherwise noted by signage. Once the facilities at Knox Field re-open to the public, the District will indicate that through on-site signage and a message on the District website.
Now that you have received the good news of our proposed reopening date, I would also like to take a few steps back and remind everyone of the work that has been done to get us to this point.
Over two years ago, the public voted to spend money to improve the Knox Field facilities, including the replacement of the turf field and track, which had both lived out their useful life and needed to be replaced. The project was planned for construction over two summers — 2022 and 2023.
The turf was replaced without delay during the summer of 2022, and the track resurfacing project was slated to be worked on this past summer and into the month of September.
Home games and practices for fall athletic teams were relocated early on by the District, knowing that we would need to allow for the full installation of the track. The track installation experienced some delays that were beyond the control of the District, like weather and contractor availability. Contractors have been wonderful to work with, and have done an amazing job for the District, but there has been a hold up with track lining and curing, which is a very specialized application.
Mr. Wood, our Director of Facilities, has continued to stay in consistent contact with the track-lining contractor to get work done as quickly as possible so that our teams can return to their home field. However, the District also does not want to compromise the work being done by using the facilities before they are 100% ready. It is of utmost importance that the hard earned investment of taxpayers in this beautiful athletic facility is protected, and will serve our students for years to come.
I want to thank you all for your patience and understanding, especially our students, their coaches, and families, as we push to get the work done with as much integrity as possible, so that the District does not compromise the time that is required for this installation to be completed properly.
Please know that this District wants the best for all of our students as it moves forward to continually improve on all fronts. When we have updates to share, they will come through ParentSquare, so please stay connected with us.
Dr. William Crankshaw
Superintendent of Schools