The Perry School Board voted unanimously in February to hire Larson Engineering Inc. of West Des Moines to provide a design for the reconstruction of the Jim Kaufman track at PHS, and they reviewed the plans at their March meeting in advance of an April bid letting.
Michael Murphy, regional manager at Larson Engineering, walked the board through the design specifications for the reconstructed track at Monday’s meeting. He said large cracks in the rubberized surface of the track are pulling away in lanes three and four.
“Just looking at the track itself over 20 years, it’s worn fairly well,” Murphy said. “It’s just the asphalt itself that has kind of dried up, and so you get that cold seam opening up right down the middle of the track, and the surfacing can’t handle that movement.”
The project calls for reclaiming the existing asphalt and part of the base and adding four inches of asphalt and a polyurethane top coat. The new design also adds a second long jump lane and enlarges the high jump pad.
The engineer’s estimate for the project is $498,000. Funding for the project will be drawn from the district’s physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) fund, which can only be used for repairs and maintenance of school buildings along with a range of equipment needs.
The school board will host a pre-bid walk through of the site for potential bidders March 23, with an April 6 deadline to submit bids. If an acceptable bid is received, the board will let the contract at its April 13 meeting.
Murphy offered a provisional timeline for the project: Groundbreaking would start May 24, with demolition of the old surface and preparation of the site. He said the soil of the new base will need 28 days to settle, so paving would start July 2, and the polyurethane surface would be applied Aug. 6. The projected completion date is Aug. 20.
Perry High School’s original cinder track was rebuilt 25 years ago at a cost of about $120,000 and dedicated Sept. 13, 1996, as the Jim Kaufman Memorial Track in honor of the 22-year Perry teacher and coach who died while jogging in April 1995. Donors to the new track included the Jim Kaufman Memorial Track Committee, the Perry Booster Club, the Perry Community School District Board of Directors and many private donors.