Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:31 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Keep off: New track edges toward finish, but it's not done yet

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

Pavement is put on the new Homer High School track on Tuesday.

With a pavement installed on the new Homer High School track, it looks finished, but Kevin Lyon, capital project director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, said looks are deceiving.

"Even though it's black and hard, stay off that track," said Lyon on Wednesday, cautioning the public away from using the track until the running surface is installed and all the work is complete.

"We have 14 days from today before we can put the rubber surface on it. We need to keep it clean and protect that track. Please. It looks like a track, but it's not a track yet."

The pavement was a giant step forward in the project being done under the direction of Prosser-Dagg Construction Company LLC of Palmer who is contracted

with the borough to put in the new facility.

"It's right on schedule as I said it would be," said Lyon.

Rolf Dagg of Prosser-Dagg has been in Homer this week to oversee the work.

"The track is going along very well," said Dagg. "The concrete curbs are in and McKenna Brothers Paving of Anchorage is doing the paving."

A two-week period is now needed for the pavement to cure before installation of the track's surface by Beynon Sports.

Then — and here's the tricky part given Homer's weather this summer — dry and warm conditions are essential for a crew from Beynon to do what it needs to do.

"We need temperatures in the upper 50s and 60s. The warmer the better," Gary Logsdon, Beynon's vice president of sales, told the Homer News from his office near Portland, Ore. "We realize what it is there, but dry is the main ingredient. ... It has to be dry when we're applying the surface. That's the big key."

With a week and a half of dry weather, the surfacing could be completed and ready for the next step: striping.

"Striping is very technical," said Logsdon. "Very different people do all the layout, all the measurements, apply the lines and hurdle marks, all those things."

No stranger to Alaska weather, Beynon is installing track surfaces at five Alaska sites this summer.

"It's a huge coordination effort. We just finished Dimond High School and are going to Service and Palmer (high schools)," said Logsdon. "The crew that'll do the one in Homer is in Kodiak right now."

In the past, Beynon has installed track surfaces at Skyview and Nikiski high schools, as well as schools in the Anchorage, Juneau and Ketchikan areas.

Lyon said Homer's weather has been well-researched.

"I've run an analysis of Homer weather, we've taken everything into consideration and we're ready for it," he said. "As long as we meet minimum specifications, (the track) will get installed. We're just looking for a number of days between Aug. 15 and Sept. 10. It's doesn't have to be consecutive. There's some flexibility in there."

Four containers of materials will arrive in Homer within the next couple of weeks, filled with the materials needed for the "safe, environmentally-friendly polyurethane" surface Beynon installs on track and field and fieldhouse athletic surfaces and running tracks designed for speed, resilience and daily use in high schools, colleges and international facilities.

"It will probably need to restriped with new lines on it in five to seven years, but it should be in great shape for the next 12-15 years," said Logsdon.

First however, is some dry, warm weather.

"We'd love to get in there and get out in a timely fashion. Let everyone know they should get out and do their rain dance," said Logsdon, of efforts to discourage, rather than encourage, more rain on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.