An estimated 50 students and parents — most of them wearing red Lodi Flames T-shirts — cheered wildly after Lodi Unified School District trustees agreed to finance more than half a million dollars to construct an all-weather track at Lodi High School.
The school board agreed to supplement the $400,000 raised by the Lodi Sports Foundation-Track Boosters for the project with district funds. Lodi Unified Chief Business Officer Tim Hern estimates the total cost for the track upgrades will be $922,000.
An excited Booster Club president, Denise Woods, said the upgrades will benefit the well-being of all Lodi High students because freshmen have to take physical education. The all-weather track will reduce injuries that students receive on the dirt track that is currently on campus.
The project will consist of a 400-meter, eight-lane, all-weather track, new areas for the long jump, triple jump, pole vault and high jump, and underground drainage and watering system in each end zone area.
Board members rejected an option to match the $400,000 raised by the track boosters with district funds and lend the boosters the remaining $122,000 cost, with the boosters paying the loan back within five years.
Woods said after the meeting that the boosters will continue to hold fundraisers, to help finance maintenance once the 10-year warranty on the new track expires and to build a snack bar.
Woods added that raising the money was positive for the students because it encouraged them to work toward their goals.
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