Athletes get on track with new surface at Northwood

Posted 8/23/19

PITTSBORO — The athletic track at Northwood High School in Pittsboro is getting a resurfacing treatment that will provide a new rubber base for high school athletes and community events.

The …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Athletes get on track with new surface at Northwood

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.


PITTSBORO — The athletic track at Northwood High School in Pittsboro is getting a resurfacing treatment that will provide a new rubber base for high school athletes and community events.

The original track, projected to last about 10 years, actually lasted longer than anticipated. It was installed at the same time as the tracks at Chatham Central and Jordan-Matthews High Schools.

“All three tracks in the high schools were installed prior to 2008,” said Chris Blice, chief operations officer for Chatham County Schools. “They actually lasted a little longer that typical.”

Blice stated that they had an outside company check the tracks at each school, and Northwood was the first one to be done because of the wear and tear on the track required it. The reason for this is the higher population at the school creates more use of the track.

Cameron Vernon, one of the athletic directors at Northwood, said the track was showing wear and tear. The new surface, he said, will create a “safer environment.”

“It makes a world of difference when you see it,” Vernon said. “It brightens up to see our facilities.”

Blice said the size of a student population affects how quickly the track needs replacing.

“The population projection for Northwood next year is 1,400 students.” he said. “It wears out track faster.”

Another reason for getting this taken care of now is the community, Vernon said.

“The community and parents of track students have been advocating for the resurface,” he said. “We are super excited to get them out there on the track and competing on it.”

In addition to the student population using the track for classes and running events, the track is also used for the Relay for Life cancer fundraising event and evening walks by community members.

The other tracks in the county are to be resurfaced according to need. The plan is for Jordan-Matthews to get a new surface next year, and Chatham Central in the following year.

Blice was complimentary of the athletic directors at each of the schools in that the tracks had lasted as long as they had.

“All three have lasted longer than their design,” Blice said. “Generally speaking, the athletic directors do their best to take care of facilities.”

Funding for the replacement cost is high. Keeping the tracks up to par is a key to longer life for the facilities. The money for the projects are planned seven years in advance of their actual need, Blice said, as part of the capital outlay that the county borrows money for.

The money is budgeted with a specific cost, but there has to be some extra set aside for a project like this, just in case.

“The project is close to budget of $159,000,” Blice said. “The track itself is $110,000, but they ask us to keep $50,000 in reserve, in case of the need to repair the asphalt base.”

The money for the resurfacing project comes through the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, who borrow money for the project, and Blice and Vernon mentioned the strong relationship that they have with the board.

“The Northwood athletic department would like to thank the Chatham County commissioners and the Board of Education, and Mr. Blice for this,” Vernon said.

Blice also related his thanks for the commissioners funding of the project.

“We very much appreciate our relationship with commissioners and their financial support,” said Blice.

The finishing touches are underway, said Vernon.

“It’s not quite finished yet,” Vernon said. “We have two more layers to put on, seal it and painting the lanes. If the weather cooperates, it will be done by the first day of school.”

Photographer David Bradley can be reached at


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment