By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
Administrative Services has decided to construct an exercise track around the premises of the school, and the project should be finished by Thanksgiving.
The jogging track will be built along Judge Ely Boulevard, East North 16th Street, Campus Court and Ambler Avenue.
“It will be nice to not have to run on a narrow path along Judge Ely and face the risk of getting hit by a car,” said Stephanie Kelsey, junior English major from Ruidoso, N.M.
Kelsey said that she plans to use the jogging track when it is finished because it will provide a better surface for her feet and ankles to run on. She has hurt them in the past by jogging on the rough terrain around campus.
Designers, after much research about which material to use, decided that concrete would be the best and most economical option, said Kevin Watson, associate vice president of Administrative Services, in an e-mail. Watson and affiliates consulted several experts and laid some test materials to find the best possible option for the project.
“Paul Carozza, who owns RunTex, is an avid marathoner and former member of our track team, was consulted specifically regarding design elements including surface material,” Watson said.
Carozza highly recommended a hard surface because running surface is becoming less of a critical matter due to advancing shoe technology.
Concrete is the easiest to maintain and will last longer than materials like clay or crushed granite, Watson said.
Crushed granite gives the runner more of a feeling like he or she is running in sand, Watson said. Because of this and other reasons, designers chose concrete.
Watson said that this project has become considerably important to him and those involved because it encourages students and others to go outside and exercise.
“We want to provide a place where our students and the neighborhood can enjoy outdoor activities,” he said. “It is important to provide a safe, attractive place on campus to exercise in the outdoors.”
Included in the plans are places along the track to go to contemplate and reflect, Watson said. A hired landscape architect is designing these community areas.
“I believe this will be a great addition to our campus,” said Watson. “I am grateful to the donor for their willingness to make this available to our students, faculty, staff and neighbors.”