Summer 2024 is set to bring an exciting renovation to the Chagrin Falls Schools’ Harris Field running track, thanks to a matching grant from the Ohio EPA. The existing track surface, originally installed in 2012 and subsequently patched and recoated over the years, has begun to show signs of failure, necessitating a full resurfacing to ensure a first-class running surface for the spring 2025 season.

The scope of the project involves removing the existing rubber running surface and installing a new 1/2" black rubber surface, sourced from recycled tires supplied by an Ohio rubber supplier. The lane lines, event markings, and lane numbers will be laid out and striped according to NFHSA regulations. Additionally, the existing asphalt will be evaluated and addressed as necessary, with plans in place to handle potential spot repairs, milling, or even a complete repaving of the entire track, should extensive asphalt repairs be required.

Late last year, during meetings with the Ohio Schools Council, the District became aware of the Ohio EPA's Ohio Recycles Grant, which provides matching funding for projects that incorporate recycled materials. After consulting with the Ohio EPA, the District decided to pursue this opportunity and applied for the grant funding for the track replacement. Their application was approved this month, and the grant will provide up to $200,000 in matching funds for the project, contingent upon the submission of documentation proving that the rubber used was sourced from Ohio scrap rubber.  Grant funds such as these represent new money for the District that is not from local taxpayers. 

The supplier for this project, a leading recycled rubber supplier with over 50 years of experience working with recycled materials, has assured the District that they will provide the necessary recycled materials certification to meet the grant requirements. By using recycled rubber from Ohio, the District not only secures matching funds for the project but also contributes to the removal of scrap rubber from Ohio landfills.

The planned project duration is 30 days, with a targeted start date of July 1, 2024, and an expected completion date of July 30, 2024, which is weather-dependent. This time frame includes a 14-day cure period for the asphalt, should asphalt work be required. The track will be striped later in the fall, once the surface has had ample time to cure.

At the March 20 Board meeting, items for approval were accepted for the grant, paving the way for this exciting track renewal project that combines functionality, environmental responsibility, and financial prudence.