Charlottesville City Council last week added $200,000 to the city’s proposed capital improvement plan for the Charlottesville High School track and field house.
The money is less than a third of what the division had originally requested for the projects, but it should be enough to complete construction documents and permitting, said Mike Mollica, city capital projects coordinator.
“Council has not taken final action on the budget yet, so it’s somewhat premature to speculate,” Mollica said in an email. “But should the $100,000 come to fruition for the CHS track, then those funds would be sufficient to allow my team to complete the design and approval phases of the project.”
Charlottesville High School has not been able to host a home track meet in six years, school division officials said, because the existing structure is too small and is in disrepair.
Charlottesville School Board Chairwoman Amy Laufer said she is not happy with the reduced funding.
“I think we are disappointed with that. I wish the communication had been better,” she said. The board’s CIP committee plans to meet in the next month to discuss its plans moving forward.
“The plan is to meet … with the whole CIP committee to discuss not just the track funds, but some of the plans they said they had for the 21st-century classroom,” she said.
To fully accommodate lights, bleachers, restrooms and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking facilities, the track likely would need to move from its current location at the back of the CHS property.
Earlier this year, city officials and representatives of the Timmons Group, a Richmond-based civil engineering firm, presented the Charlottesville School Board with three options for relocating the track.
Those options were to leave the track in its current location and repair and expand it, move it to surround the football field at the CHS stadium or to build it around an existing practice field adjacent to the stadium.
Depending on where the track is situated, and whether the division addresses the field house at the same time, cost estimates range between $1.3 million and $2 million.
City Councilor Wes Bellamy said the city hopes to dedicate more money to the CHS projects next budget cycle.
“The hope is for us to get to at least $650,000, and hopefully we can put that in next year,” he said. “It is a priority for us, our athletes should know that they are just as good as everyone else, and we want them to have what they need to compete.”