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Kenai: running, jogging, walking on KCHS track only

Posted: July 30, 2013 - 9:13pm  |  Updated: July 30, 2013 - 9:17pm

The new track at Kenai Central High School is ready to use, but users are being asked to tread lightly on the recently completed surface.

“Here’s the deal,” said Kenai City Manager Rick Koch. “You can run on it. You can jog on it. You can walk on it.”

But that is it, he said.

A roller-skier with metal-tipped ski poles and cyclists have been skating and pedaling laps around Kenai Central High School’s new track and artificial turf field. A Kenai Peninsula Borough maintenance worker also recently drove a lawn mower over the track, Koch said.

“That put me right through the roof,” Koch said.

Rollerblade wheels, bicycle tires and lawnmower treads — as well as spiked running shoes and soft-soled boots — will damage the rubberized track, he said. Rotation can tear the track’s surface.

Signs posted at the track also encourage recreational joggers to run the track’s outer lanes. The inside three lanes receive the most runners, and the track will wear unevenly if one side is favored more than the other, he said.

The high school’s new turf field requires the same consideration. Koch said athletes should use non-aggressive cleats and avoid rollerblades, ski poles and bicycles.

Winter-time maintenance is a difficult operation for the same reason — the track and field are delicate.

To clear the facility in the spring, a city employee will blow snow from the track and field with a small blower used to clear sidewalks, Koch said. The only stipulation: the blower’s wheels must remain an inch above the track and field surface, he said. Otherwise it can tear out chunks of the track or turf, he said.

“It’s a lot of money,” he said about the facility. “It’s something that should last at least 15 years, maybe 20,” but it must be treated correctly.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at

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spwright 07/31/13 - 11:58 am

7/31/13 Obviously the Manager that stated ONLY a walk behind Snow Blower will be used to Remove the Snow from this Multi-Million Dollar Sports Facility does NOT have a Clue as to What It Takes to Do Snow Removal.

A Full Time Employee will need to be assigned to ONLY One Task. That's Snow Removal at KCHS FootBall Field October thru April each year.

Attend all local Sports Event & witness what happens when that event is completed. Students & Parents simply walk away & leave their Trash & Mess behind without a single thought or concern about the Mess they have created. Same thing will happen at this Brand New KCHS FootBall Field.

Our area Schools are Multi-Million Dollar investments but Management constantly Cut the number of Custodians assigned to Clean & Maintain those School Facilities.
Management demands very High Standards but then Cut the Employees that are assigned to carry out those Demands & Standards. Do More with Less, Do More with Less. SPW

Media Critic
Media Critic 07/31/13 - 01:54 pm

I'm confused. What does Rick Koch or the city of Kenai have to do with maintaining a Kenai Peninsula Borough School District facility?

steelhorse 08/01/13 - 01:27 am

I like how the new field and track *looks* and I'm sure to a certain extent it will be more user friendly than the previous one was, but it sounds like this was concocted in some fantasy land office.

I'm sorry but those materials do not withstand the harsh conditions and climate that those in reality deal with.

What we needed was something hardier that we didn't have to tip toe on and didn't require special attention and handling.

And for the city manager to pipe up? I'm not surprised at all. Given any opportunity at all to exert his voice and authority & he's so there!

These types of surfaces and turfs are usually covered all winter to protect them from the weather from what I understand.

Bottom line is that I don't see it lasting as long as Koch would like and unless it serves THE BEST INTERESTS of the youth of the schools that are the primary users as well as the fine people of this area without increasing the financial burden on same, I doubt this is a worthwhile long term investment.

spwright 08/01/13 - 06:45 am
Valid Point 8/1/13

8/1/13 Media Critic, You have a valid point. What does the City Manager from Kenai have to do with the Maintenance of a Multi-Million Dollar FootBall Field ?

That is the responsibility of the Kenai Peninsula BOROUGH Maintenance.

In the past Snow Removal from local football fields was NOT included in ANY plans. No One planned ahead or budgeted the funds needed to pay for Snow Removal. Each & every Spring, Snow Removal is needed to prepare for the Track season. Neither School Dist Management or Borough Management will provide Funds for Snow Removal from a FootBall Field & Track. NO ONE is Hired for that Task.

Obviously that Task is NEEDED but no one seems to have forethought to Plan that far ahead & provide the funding & hire
Employees for that Task.

A Full time Employee would be needed for Snow Removal
& assigned ONLY to the FootBall Field & Track Snow Removal. October thru April of each year.

Millions of Dollars invested in the Brand Spanking New FootBall Fields & Track BUT No One plans for the funding of the Maintenance & Snow Removal. No Employees are Hired for that Task.


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