Bush: Erickson track finished, under budget

PARKERSBURG – After several weeks of bad news concerning athletic facilities, the Wood County Board of Education got a bit of good news Wednesday about the new track at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

Rick Bush, representing the Erickson All-Sports Facility Board of Governors, updated the school board on the project

In March, the school board approved $200,000 for installation of a new running track at Erickson in south Parkersburg. The Erickson facility has been built mostly through private donations and fundraising by the board of governors and residents.

Bush said the track, which had been cracked in several places and had a noticeable dip, has now been restored and renewed.

“Our track is now in tip-top shape,” he said. “The whole track is redone. The rubberized material is outstanding.”

Bush’s presentation came just before the school board was scheduled to once again discuss financial issues with renovations at Parkersburg High School Stadium Field. Earlier this year the board stopped all work at the stadium while it determined who was financially responsible for an outstanding $455,000 bill for work completed on the project.

Bush began his presentation promising not to ask for more money.

“I had to promise on my soul I was not asking for money tonight before she would let me on the agenda tonight,” Bush said, referring to Superintendent Pat Law’s secretary. “You guys are somewhat embattled these days, and I thought you could use some good news.”

Without naming names, Bush drew comparisons to the Stadium Field project and the Erickson track project.

“All of the bills are paid,” he said.

Bush said the committee was able to, in part, remain under budget by not allowing any extras on the project.

“We didn’t have a couple of things we wanted to do because it would have pushed us over budget, he said. “Those extras included coloring for the track and a polyurethane coating. “Both were not done because of the cost.”

All told, Bush said, the committee spent only $187,000 of the allotted $200,000 from the school board.

“We have $13,000 you can put back in the budget,” he told the school board. “I’d like to think we’d taken that ball and run it as far as we could.”

Bush also talked about other Erickson projects the committee has completed over the years, including a new heating and cooling system, a referees changing room and sprinkler systems.

The next project, he said, will be constructing a press box.

“I’m not here tonight to ask for help with that,” Bush said. “We’ll handle it.”

Board member Jim Fox praised the group for its efforts.

“You raised the money, came in under budget,” he said. “You’re doing this the right way.”