We may not fully know until fall whom to thank for the new surface at the track used by Siuslaw Vikings athletes.
Of the $239,569 tab for the long-delayed maintenance, nearly 70 percent — $165,653 — is coming from an estate bequest from an as-yet-to-be-identified benefactor.
A dedication and acknowledgement ceremony is planned for one of the early football games this fall, possibly the Sept. 20 date with Newport.
"Resurfacing the track had been on the deferred maintenance list for at least four years," Siuslaw Schools District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak said in an email. "The project met the desires of the donor and kept us in compliance with Title IX requirements.
"So we asked the manager of the estate if this would be a project that their client would have liked, and they conferred with the gentleman's family. They loved the idea and thought that their father would, too."
The next hurdle was the approval of the school board.
"After getting a 'thumbs up' from the estate, the plan went to the school board," Grzeskowiak said. "The board members had some discussions about it and decided to go with the track project."
The balance of the project is being paid for by the Siuslaw Athletic Booster Club ($50,000) and the district's maintenance budet ($23,916).
Work already is underway, and the surface is expected to be completed well in advance of fall sports, which begin Aug. 19.
"We are doing the 20-year repair and rebuild right now," Grzeskowiak said. "If this project sits any longer, in a year, maybe two, the entire track would be too worn to repair.
"Replacing the complete track then would most likely be over $700,000."
Contractor for the project is Beynon Sports, the same company that is resurfacing Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
"I'm very excited that the surface of our track — along with everything else we have — really makes our facility one of the best high school track and field facilities in the state," Siuslaw athletic director and track-and-field coach Chris Johnson said.
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