The digging was to install a new drainage system behind the middle school, which should help control the runoff that had caused the track to deteriorate in the past. Paul McDevitt, the school district’s director of facilities, tells us that now that the drainage work is done, the Board of Education will have a bid opening next week for the next phase of the work, which is to resurface the track. “I am hopeful that the winning bidder can start quickly to have the project completed by early September,” McDevitt said by email.
The cost of the resurfacing will be split between the Verona Board of Education and Montclair Kimberley Academy only, even though the track is also used by Verona Recreation Department programs and the community at large. The town had indicated support of the project in the past, but after the referendum passed town officials appeared to be backing off that support. In April, BOE President John Quattrocchi expressed frustration at misinformation about the referendum work that he said had been disseminated by Verona Township Engineer Jim Helb.
The track, which was built in 2001 in partnership with MKA, was closed in December 2012 because part of its surface had separated from the underlying material. The BOE was able to make enough repairs to it the following spring so that it could be used again, but those fixes were only temporary.
The track work is part of a series of repairs not covered by the referendum that are being done by McDevitt and his staff this summer. Lockers are being replaced and repainted at Verona High School, damaged stairs at HBW are being fixed, and kindergarten and first grade classroom bathrooms are being remodeled, among other projects.