Wilton track project is on course for next year’s budget

A plan to replace the track at Wilton High School is expected to take a step forward this fall.

The Parks & Recreation Commission is planning to interview different groups and vendors in September or October in order to come up with a cost estimate for the track replacement project, according to Parks & Recreation Director Steve Pierce.

He said the plan is to interview various architectural and engineering groups “to see what products they can use for the track replacement.”

After getting cost estimates, the project is expected to be put on the ballot of the Annual Town Meeting in May 2020.

The town previously estimated a cost of $800,000 to $1,000,000 for the asphalt replacement of all three layers of the track and a new running surface. But that number could change depending on the estimates received this fall.

The 400-meter track has been troubled by emerging cracks and gouges over the years. Two years ago, Wilton High School athletic director Chris McDougall told the Bulletin the track was “deteriorating at a rapid pace.”

The track was last resurfaced in 2007, and was criticized for poor drainage caused by the freezing and thawing of the asphalt structure.

“The track is past its useful life, which was about 12 to 14 years,” said Pierce.

To patch up some of the problems, the town spent $17,300 this year on temporary repairs so the track could still be used. A large section of asphalt near the concession stand was replaced and the running surface of the track was repaired in 16 sections.

To aid in the town’s efforts to replace the track, the grassroots movement Back the Track is looking to raise $200,000. Back the Track is a nonprofit organization driven by The Wilton Running Club, Wilton Track Association and members of the Wilton community.

On its website, Back the Track says approximately 382 people use the high school track each day.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, Back The Track is holding a 5K race and Fun Run fundraising event for the track replacement project. For more information visit backthetrack.org.