What is happening with the Villa Park High School Track & Field? That is the question many people are asking of the much-loved community track and field used by both students and neighbors alike for physical fitness activities such as walking and jogging.
Originally scheduled to open to students and the surrounding community in the Fall of 2019, the track and field is now scheduled to open in April 2020. The facility upgrades would have allowed a full complement of sporting events, including football, to take place on the Spartans’ home turf. Now with Fred Kelly Stadium closed due to renovations and the VPHS track and field not ready as planned, Villa Park athletic teams are scrambling to find field locations for “home” games.
Update December 20, 2019: The VPHS Track & Field project is delayed. The District learned that there is abandoned buried asbestos in an area of the new track and field space where an outside contractor was performing excavation for State mandated Americans with Disability Act (ADA) work. The field project area of the site is cordoned off with fence barrier and locked gates. The Board of Education approved an emergency resolution to ratify the decision to hire Signal Restoration Services to begin remediation work at the Villa Park High School track and athletic field. After abatement is complete, Phase II of the project will resume. The OUSD press releases can be read here and here.
Due to ongoing litigation between OUSD and the contractors involved, the reasons for the delay are not completely known. The explanation thus far is that following the discovery of multiple undulations on the track, extensive soil testing and consultation was done. The conclusion was that the fields required additional mitigation and drainage upgrades. In other words, the entire surface needed to be re-excavated in order to apply a type of slurry seal consisting of soil and cement about a foot thick.
Not Measure S Funds
One common misconception is the funds for these renovations came from Measure S school bond dollars and OUSD has squandered these funds on a mismanaged project. While latter opinion may be true this project was not used with Measure S funds. The renovations used utilized capital project reserves, that the district designated for this project.
New Track & Field Features
The modernized athletic facility will feature the installation of environmentally-beneficial synthetic turf, all-weather rubberized tracks, and other improvements.
Original Construction Schedules
Phase 1: Synthetic Track and Field (Surfacing Only)
Construction: July 23, 2018 – December 5, 2018
Phase 2: DSA Path of Travel, Walkways and Fencing
DSA Plans submitted – October 2018
Construction Start – May 2019
Construction Completed – Fall 2019