New Haven Community Track Project Becoming A Reality

Pictured above is preliminary drawing provided by BFA Engineering Surveying, showing the location of the new track in relation to the high school as well as how additional options added as funds are available, such as concrete around the track.

NEW HAVEN, Mo. - The construction of a track at New Haven High School is now becoming a reality and by late summer of this year the committee and very confident that construction will begin.

Tuesday evening a town hall meeting was held by The Committee to Build a New Track where committee member Brad Zobrist spoke about the projects financial status as well John Nilges, Project Manager with BFA Engineering Surveying, who revealed drawings and talked about the initial steps to kick start the project.

In less than a year and a half over $312,000 in committed funds have been pledged towards the project. $266,000 of the $312,000 has been collected so far and is “cash in the bank”. Committed funds have come from individuals, businesses, special events, and grants. What’s amazing is that 44% or $137,000 of donations have come from New Haven High School alumni.  This in itself demonstrates the love that past graduates have for their school.

Committee member Brad Zobrist said, “The support just from past graduates is a reflection of the lasting impression and love they have for their school and further exemplifies our Tradition of Excellence.”

Pictured is Brad Zobrist speaking.

Zobrist provided a breakdown of where the committed funds have come from; saying, “In addition to the $137,000 from NHHS alumni; special events (fundraisers) have generated $52,000, businesses have donated $63,000, grants $25,000, civic groups $14,000, and $21,000 has come from other individuals and community members who are not NHHS alumni.”

Zobrist also added that the committee has applied for several grants that they feel confident they will receive. Additional grant funds could potentially add $27,000 to the committed funds total, bringing the total grant dollar category to $57,000. He did note these funds are not guaranteed. Zobrist also said that once the project begins and we have demonstrated our commitment to build is when we will likely see more grant opportunities.

Pictured is John Nilges addressing those at Tuesday’s town hall meeting.

New Haven graduate, John Nilges with BFA Engineering Surveying, provided information on what his company has been working on and what the next steps they will begin taking to start the construction of the track.

Nilges said they will begin sending out request for bids to contractors around the beginning of spring.  Nilges emphasized that the most important first step is the infrastructure and making sure they have a solid base and proper drainage.

“Before we begin pouring asphalt and concrete there has to be a solid foundation.  The last thing we want is to begin laying the surface and several years later for it to start cracking due to pour dirt.  Basically, we want to do it the right way the first time to prevent any issues in the future that could end up being costly to redo.”, said Nilges.

Nilges did explain, while he is very confident that construction will be underway by late summer, the only thing that could effect this is if a contractor would comeback with a “discounted” bid if they could hold off until around the fall.  Generally there are situations where other schools are wanting a track down right away, a contractor could ask for an extension just to insure they have work during the later part of the year, in which Nilges said at that point we could say that we would need a “discounted” quote.

Pictured: New Haven Track Coach Johh Tucker.

Regardless, the New Haven Community Track Project has now become a reality and will soon have a brand new track.

Following the meeting we briefly spoke with Track Coach John Tucker, who’s dream has always been for New Haven High School to some day have a track.

Tucker said, “I am not originally from New Haven but since moving here over 17 years ago, I quickly learned that New Haven is really a special place.  I could not begin to put into words about the unbelievable amount of support towards this project form the community in general but also how they have always supported the school district.”

“I am not sure you will ever find a community like the one here.  I have always been blown away in how much every cares about each other.”

Click here to learn more about how you can make a donation to the New Haven Community Track Project.

You can also stay up to date by following them on Facebook and Twitter. (@nhtrackproject)

Pictured is a preliminary drawing of what a fully completed track complex could look like.  It is important to note this is simply an example of what the finished project could look like years from now as funds become available.