Thanks to a newly resurfaced track at Johnson C. Smith University, you won’t have to travel to London to do it.
The new track surface was laid last summer using material made by Mondo, an Italian company that has provided all the tracks at the main Olympic stadiums since 1992. This year’s Olympics in London also featured Mondo track surfaces. Mondo was chosen because the original surface was their product, and they would guarantee their material being overlaid on the existing surface.
The Johnson C. Smith track resurfacing project came about because Mecklenburg County has a contract with the university to allow Park and Recreation and the public to use the track. The contract calls for the track to be resurfaced every 10 years, and this year it was time. Getting it all done was the responsibility of the newly named Asset and Facility Management (AFM), formerly Real Estate Services.
AFM contracted with Site Solutions, a Charlotte-based landscape architectural and civil engineering firm, to prepare all the documents required for bidding and to oversee the actual construction. Before the resurfacing could begin, the existing track surface was carefully examined, dips and depressions filled in, and bumps or high spots sanded down to provide a uniformly level starting point.
The track material from Mondo arrived by the truckload: 100 rolls, individually numbered, three feet wide. The rolls were precut and had to be laid in the correct order and then adhered to the existing surface. The final stages of the project were to survey the locations of the stripes and painting the stripes, numbers, and markings for the track.
Due to AFM’s ability to enable a quick turnaround on the paperwork and approvals required for a purchase of this magnitude, the County was able to save $300,000 by taking advantage of a special sale Mondo offered that ended January 1, 2012. If another manufacturer were used, the existing track surface would have to be removed and a new layer of asphalt installed. The overall cost would have been considerably more than using the Mondo surface.
“That worked out very nicely,” said Doug Buchanan,project manager for the newly named Asset and Facility Management (AFM) (formerly Real Estate Services).
The track is truly a community resource. It is used by the track team at Johnson C. Smith, by the Charlotte Flights Track & Field Club, by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation for its “Win With Integrity” program, and by the community. Except on “meet days,”two lanes are kept free and open for residents from 6:00 a.m. until dusk seven days a week. It’s also hoped that the track help lure national track meets to Charlotte.
Anthony James, recreation supervisor with Park and Recreation said, “Without a doubt, the new track will provide a safer surface for the athletes and can actually help prevent injuries.” James has worked with youth for many years and was delighted when the track reopened. “It was only closed for six weeks, and we are so happy to be back out there.”
Buchanan said the track is a good example of the range of projects that AFM provides. “We oversee construction projects as large as the building of a brand new facility to as small as relabeling an electrical panel, and everything in between,” he said.