TASD track renovation project still a go despite grant denial

Last year, the Tyrone Area School District and the Tyrone Borough government applied for a grant through the Growing Greener and Clean Water Mineral Resources program to fix the erosion from the banks of Schell Run near the high school track. Last week, the school district learned that the grant application was not approved.
“We can re-apply next year, but we have the track renovation project scheduled for this budget year,” said Tom Muir, the district’s plant supervisor. “We’re going to sit down with the borough and work out a solution.”
The grant for $30,000 is a small portion of the estimated $400,000 renovation project.
“The drawings are still being worked on,” said Muir. “We will work on the erosion project before we start working on the track surface.”
The track surface has been worn down over years of use and with the new renovations, fans will have more access to the track and field events.
“We are going to move all the long jump and triple jump pits outside of the track,” said Muir. “When the kids jump, the sand comes from the pits and gets on the track. We are moving the shot put, discuss and javelin further down. We are going to put bleachers on the side of the hill by the start-finish line so fans can see the start and finish of the races and we are also going to put bleachers in the field area so the people can watch the field events.”
The district and the borough will start negotiations soon concerning the Schell Run project.
“We have to get the bank problem fixed first,” said Muir. “We don’t want to run the trucks over a new track surface to fix the side of the hill. The school district has had a good working relationship with the borough in the past and I feel confident that we will be able to resolve this issue and progress with the renovations to the track.”
The grant application that was approved by the Blair County Conservation District but not approved by the commonwealth would call for repairing the existing stream bank adjacent to and above the end of the gabions, which are the rock filled cages that line the bank to alleviate erosion and storm water runoff. The borough installed them near the track as part of a flood control project following the flood of 1972. It would also call for the repair of the gabion blankets and develop enhanced wetlands adjacent to the existing blankets and developing an education plan in which students under the supervision of teachers, learn about stream erosion, bank protection, natural systems and environmental improvements.