Fayette’s running track looks like a running track once again.
The edges of the track are once again clearly defined. The surface is scraped and leveled. The long jump and high jump pits are recovered from the turf. A shot put area is rescued from encroaching grass.
What was once considered the finest track in the area—in the days before all-weather tracks—suffered from neglect over the years, but now it’s back in good shape, thanks to the efforts of 19 volunteers.
Fayette mayor Anita Van Zile worked with a few other residents concerned about the condition of the track to organize a work day Sept. 6.
“When I went down there at 8 o’clock, I was the only one there,” she said, “but then people started trickling in.
”I was very pleased. It was very successful.”
The crew of volunteers wrapped up their work by 1 p.m., then Greg Armstrong of Armstrong Excavating arrived. He worked part of two days with a box blade to level the surface.
“Both of his children were involved in track and Greg has continued to support the program, even though his children have graduated,” Van Zile said.
A drain was unplugged that had caused flooding on a portion of the track after very heavy rains, but the success of that effort won’t be known until another hard downpour. It’s unknown how much sand and debris had washed into the line.
“We couldn’t have done the job without the help of the village crew,” Van Zile said.
Village workers accomplished some preliminary work before the work day, and some showed up to help with the other volunteers.
In the age of all-weather tracks, Van Zile doubts if there will ever be a home track meet for Fayette’s runners, but the rejuvenated facility will now serve as an excellent practice site. The track also gets a lot of use by community members.
“It was a day of teamwork, team building and accomplishment,” the mayor said, “and a lot of fun.”
She intends for the village to make sure the track is maintained to prevent another descent into disrepair.