By Matthew Taylor
Work began last week to replace the dangerously deteriorated track at Liberty Bell High School.
The project, funded by a Methow Valley School District capital projects levy passed in late 2015, will provide a much-improved athletic experience for Liberty Bell students and athletes.
“We wanted to make sure we got the job done right,” said Bud Hover, facilities director for the school district. The renovation is expected to cost between $550,000 and $575,000, and will include an updated track, field, long and triple jump pits, and pole vault and high jump area.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-August. The old track and underlying concrete were removed last week. Within the next few weeks, a new base course of packed gravel will be laid down, followed by 3 inches of asphalt by the end of July. In early to mid-August, the new rubber surface will be installed and lines will be painted.
As work progresses on the track, the field event areas will undergo renovations as well. The old jumping pits will be removed from the side of the field, widening the playing surface for the football and soccer teams. The pits and both runways will be relocated to the east end of the field. Meanwhile, the west end of the field will be resurfaced to include a pole vault and high jump area.
These improvements will allow Liberty Bell to once again host championship-level meets, something it has been unable to do for years due to the deteriorated state of the facilities. During the 2017 season, the Mountain Lions were unable to host meets of any kind, and had to travel out of the valley for all of their competitions.