Renovations underway for the Queens College track and field

Renovations underway for the Queens College track and field
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After Harrisites navigated through its numerous potholes and cracks for years, the dilapidated Queens College track is being replaced in an estimated $9.3 million renovation project. The track and field will be upgraded to the benefit of THHS student-athletes for the future.

Construction for the track and field began last October, and is scheduled to conclude by late 2021 to early 2022.

Amparo Barrera, Senior Project Manager at Queens College, said that despite numerous attempts over the years to maintain it, “the condition of the running track was beyond repair and was posing safety issues. The cracks and divots on the running surface [were] creating tripping hazards, poor drainage issues, [and] slippery conditions during the winter months.”

Dean Robin Figelman noted that ever since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, the track and field has been in poor condition. “[Because] QC has many teams that utilize the track and field, it is in their best interest to make it a top of the line facility,” she said.

Even with previous cursory reparations made to remedy the numerous divots, they served only as temporary solutions. Rising senior Tracy Mou said that in “some areas, you don’t see the lane of the track; [instead], you see concrete, [and] there were too many potholes in the first couple of lanes.”  

To resolve drainage inefficiencies and reduce slipping hazards, a completely new drainage system is projected to  be installed.

The new soccer field is being renovated in compliance with the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), which allows Queens College Division II athletes to participate in specific sports training and games. Ms. Barrera said that the new recreation areas will boast an “NCAA soccer field and a new running track with durable material to ensure many years of safe and low maintenance use. [The renovation will also] replace the walkway that runs adjacent to the track… [along with] new LED lighting mounted to sports lighting poles for the athletic fields.”

Additionally, this renovation will include a new synthetic turf field, which will be more durable and easier to maintain than the previous natural grass surface. The upgrades made to this field aim to provide student-athletes with greater resources, opportunities, and assist them in performing at a more confident level. 

These new renovations and installments will be funded by city and state governments, with extra funding secured by Townsend Harris alumna Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee said that “it was a great help that she added to the amount [the city was] giving because they were only giving money [for] the basic requirements [of the renovation.]”

Due to the fact that  renovations will extend into the school year, Ms. Fee commented that, “we most likely will not be able to use the track, but we can use the perimeters of the parking lot. So there probably will not be a lot of running, but a lot of walking [during Physical Education classes].”

Nevertheless, despite the disruption created by the renovations, senior Nadia Santo said the track renovation “would definitely be beneficial if runners and especially track runners on the team didn’t have to worry about making sure they didn’t trip in any of those divots.” She added that “Overall, I think the renovation is a good investment if it makes the area more enjoyable, easier, and safer to navigate for students and athletes.”