Aug 8th, 2012 @ 9:49 am | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
As you may know, Valley City State University and the Valley City Public School district are working together to fund a major repair of the track surrounding Shelly Ellig Field at Lokken Stadium. This project will re-surface all eight lanes of the existing track and provide a new running/walking surface that experts have assured us should last at least four years.

The last major repair of the track was completed in 2008, and the surface has deteriorated to the point where it was becoming unsafe to host events and competitions. Therefore, the time has certainly arrived for another re-surfacing to address these issues, and we are so pleased to be working in conjunction with the VCPS district on these needed repairs.

Track and Field programs are important to students in the K-12 grade levels as well as to VCSU. There is a large number of students of all ages from throughout the community and campus who participate in Track & Field programs and all of those students benefit from having a high-quality track. The track is also used frequently by members of the community for walking and other public events (such as the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event).

In addition to VCSU, VCPS, and the general public in our community, other students from throughout the region use this track while participating in meets and state-qualifying events. This past May, VCSU hosted the Class 'B' Southeast Region Track & Field meet at Lokken Stadium featuring 16 high schools and over 500 student-athletes. This meet brings many students, coaches, families, and fans to the VCSU campus and Valley City community. It is worth noting that with the re-surfaced track, VCSU will again be able to host the Southeast Region meet in May 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. Events such as these (along with the other meets that are hosted by VCSU and Valley City Public Schools) bring visitors to the campus and community, thus highlighting yet another important reason for maintaining a functional track.

There is no question that assets such as a quality track surface are important factors when weighing quality-of-life aspects within a community. It is important for not only our youth, but it is also an important component in promoting and supporting a healthy lifestyle for our citizens. We appreciate the successful partnership with the VCPS district on this project and look forward to many individuals utilizing the new track surface in the months and years ahead. The re-surfacing project is being completed as this column is published, and it will be finished by early August. Stop by and check out the new track (along with Ellig Field) if you have not yet had the opportunity to do so!