Huddleston Elementary School’s crumbling and often flooded running track will get a facelift soon if McIntosh High School senior Josh Reynolds has his way. The honors student, who runs track and plays football for the Chiefs, is working to raise the $15,000 needed for the resurfacing project and he is turning to local businesses and the Peachtree City/Fayette Co. community for help.
Reynolds first learned of the elementary school’s track troubles this past spring after speaking with his little sister’s physical education coach Michael Davis.
Davis told him students at Huddleston Elementary love to run so much, that parents and teachers raised enough money six years ago to hire the city’s cart path experts to install a running track on the school’s field. In anticipation of the new track, the school formed the Huddleston Hounds Running Club, a group of eager athletes who planned to meet every morning before school and run a mile or two together.
Not long after the new asphalt dried, Coach Davis and his young runners noticed some major problems with the grading and quality of the track.
“The first couple of days of running club we couldn’t actually go out because we had puddles standing all over the track. Unfortunately, on those days when it rains and sometimes for two-three days after it rains, we’re still not able to come out and use the track,” says a frustrated Davis who has watched the problem worsen with each rainfall.
Now the track which should be a source of pride for the hosts of the famous annual Huddleston Hustle is instead a bit of an eye sore and a potential hazard to young runners.
Because of sitting water the asphalt is crumbled and cracked. The edge of the running surface sits flush with the soil, so grass and rainwater are eroding the track from the outside inwards.
According to Coach Davis “the track doesn’t have a crown on it; it has no pitch, so the water has nowhere to go. It continues to just break away the asphalt and pretty soon we won’t have a running lane.”
Josh Reynolds, who was the 2012 Grand Champion of the Huddleston Hustle, sat down with school Principal Heidi Pfannestiel and proposed this fund raising project.
Pfannenstiel gained the go ahead for him from Fayette County School officials. Reynolds met with and received bids from paving companies and then made a presentation to Huddleston’s PTO.
In June the PTO voted to earmark $2,000 as seed money for this important project, and has agreed to collect the track sponsorship contributions and pay contractors with those funds.
Part of his presentation to potential sponsors includes a video report showing the problems and he has plans to thank those making contributions of $1,000 or more by displaying that business/sponsor’s name on a permanent sign at the newly resurfaced track.
Reynolds has a committee of fellow Chiefs helping in the effort: Elizabeth Roshelli-sponsor relations, Monica Schwingshakl-account management, Kelsey Silbert-landscape design, Chase Lambert-site management.
The committee is also considering selling engraved bricks to pave the entrance of the track as an additional way to fund the project. Says Coach Michael Davis about the running track resurfacing project: “I’m just asking you to help out if you can. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the school, and to me it is one of the greatest investments this school could ever have. Not only does it affect us with our physical abilities, but also I think it helps academically as well.”
If you’d like more information about the Huddleston Track Resurfacing Project and sponsorship, please call Josh Reynolds at 404-895-9431 or email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org