New Track Facility Coming to Darien High School

Construction of the track is set to take place this summer


Neirad Staff

The Darien High School campus is for many people as much about the athletic facilities as it is the academics

Julia Blake, Editor-In-Chief

In 2005, the town of Darien completed a two year rebuild of Darien High School. The new building featured state of the art technology and facilities that have been updated and improved since its construction. One thing that has stayed the same and is in need of attention is the track facility.

Besides a layer of blue paint that served as an aesthetic upgrade for football season, the track has not been replaced since 2005. Ballpark estimates vary depending on the use and conditions of the track facility, but most sources argue that track systems do not last much longer than ten years. I experience the deterioration of the track every day at practice. That blue paint has faded and now the track is a multicolored variation between red and blue. Multiple areas have uneven surfaces and worn down material that are potentially dangerous for runners. 

This shot was taken earlier this week and shows the patch work efforts and the fading of the track. (Neirad Staff)
The joining of the turf and the track has crumbled away leaving it uneven. (Neirad Staff)

Several patch jobs have been performed adding insignificant new layers in different shades of blue which stick out poorly. In contrast, many of the turf fields have never reached this state of disrepair. Clearly the DHS track is ready, and deserves, an upgrade.

This project was presented in front of the Board of Education last year and since approved, the funds for the construction have become part of the fiscal budget for the 2022-2023 school year.

On February 27, 2023, Dr. Alan Addley, the Superintendent of Schools in Darien spoke in front of a panel at town hall. He listed some details about the construction including the company that has been contracted to do the work. Cape and Island Tennis and Track is an installation company based out of Massachusetts that has done over “600 tracks across New England”  (Cape and Island Tennis and Track). Adley explained that the type of track system the company recommends, the BS300, is also installed in New Cannan, Greenwich, Weston, and Norwalk. This “sandwich system” has an additional layer of rubber that provides more comfort and is designed to last longer.

According to Mr. Kevin Munrett, the Director of Facilities at DHS, “The project did come in over budget, which was mainly due to the cost increase of raw materials”, a 40% increase. This leads the total budget for the project to an estimated $815,000. Additionally, the board approved a switch to a higher quality system called the BS300 (“sandwich system”) which is more durable and a smarter investment than the BS100.

The project is very much ‘on track’ to be completed in the proper timeline.

— Kevin Munrett

While this might sound like a crazy amount to spend, it is an investment to the community at large. Given that a turf field costs $700,000 and we have four on the campus, it only seems fair to give the track an update to meet the standards of the other athletic facilities at DHS.

Munrett adds that there is a “small window” in which the track can be redone, which is from “late spring to summer”, and the construction is “on track” to be completed before school starts next year. The track is an asset to the student athletes at our school-even if they are not on the track team-who use the facility for training purposes. Since it is the only track in the town of Darien, it is an important resource for community members.