Town residents will be asked to approve borrowing of $735,000 for the track and field facility reconstruction.
Because of these concerns, the LTO began the Littleton Road Race three years ago not only as a way to promote running and fitness, but also as a fundraiser to offset future maintenance costs of a reconstructed track. Thanks to the wonderful support from residents, both as participants and volunteers, the annual Littleton Road Race has proved to be a viable model to pay for the maintenance expenses for the life of the track.
While the new track will not need significant maintenace for approximately seven years, we can expect the cost of maintenance to average $6,000 per year over the life of the track. To date, the LTO has raised over $19,000.
The existing track has large cracks, numerous breaks, and uneven surfaces. Field event areas are extremely deteriorated. You can view photos of the existing track to examine the conditions.
Synthetic surfaces used in track construction today have the ability to be repaired and maintained. The rubberized asphalt used on the existing track, which was typical for tracks built in the 1970's, has limited ability for repair and maintenace. Unfortunately, the existing track cannot simply be "patched" to bring it to a usable condition.
First and foremost these conditions pose a safety hazard to athletes and residents who use the track, and a liabiltiy issue for the town. The surface is particularly dangerous for athletes training and competing on the track, as the metal spikes they wear can easily get caught or stuck in cracks, which can result in serious injury.
Coaches and athletic directors from other schools do not want their athletes competing on our track, and Littleton has frequently had to move their home meets to the other school. Although the home meets can be moved, the track remains the only facility available for daily training.
In 1979, the economic outlook was not rosy either. Some headlines from the Littleton Independent in 1979 remind us of what we see today: "Littleton Finance Committee Girds for Tighter Spending," "Superintendent Sees Bleak Outlook," "Selectmen Promise No New Hiring." Despite this, the town recognized the need for a track that would benefit both the student-athletes and the town, and voted overwhelmingly in favor of constructing a track.
The current conditions of the track pose a safety issue for residents and athletes who use it, and a liability issue for the town.
In addition, the bid process would be very competitive in this environment, and we could expect a noticeable cost savings.