Potholes are a thing of the past at the Holmen Middle School track.
Students and staff celebrated the completion of the nearly half-million dollar track and field complex Friday morning with music and several celebratory laps around the new track. The upgrades improved the track and connected it with sidewalks and walking paths in the community as well as adding a new, irrigated football field and other amenities.
The middle school track was first built in the 1970s and was rebuilt in the 1980s. Before the $468,000 upgrades, the football field and track were in a state of major disrepair, with cracks three inches and wider in some spots.
Funding for the project came from the community-approved capital maintenance portion of a 2015 referendum. Voters approved the $335,000-a-year building and busing referendum to help address building needs and reduce the amount of needed maintenance the district defers.
“One of the big things with the new complex is community use and safety,” Principal Ryan Vogler said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”
Construction started near the end of the 2015-16 school year and rebuilt the ground, track and field space as well as adding include a full-size, multi-use field and irrigation. A one-third mile walking path that includes a six-lane, 200-meter track was also added for sports practice purposes and community use.
The original softball field was moved and upgraded with a new backstop and dugouts. Also added are new pits made for long and triple jump and a discus cage and shot put area.
Students and staff helped cut two ribbons at the grand opening Friday, which was also part of homecoming week for the district. The first ribbon was red to celebrate the opening and a yellow caution tape as an homage to how worn out the old track had become. With music blaring, the more than 930 students in grades six through eight jogged around the new track while staff cheered.
“This is just an awesome day,” Vogler said. “It is a great way to start homecoming.”