The Payson Unified School District governing board has selected a Phoenix company to complete the long awaited construction of the all-weather track surface at the high school.
At the board's regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening, General Acrylics' bid of $133,999 to lay the rubberized surface on the oval track was approved.
The bid was middle of three bids the company gave the school district.
The lowest bid was $105,069 and the highest was $152,040.
According to PUSD Business Manager Bobette Sylvester, the board decided to go with the middle bid because most members thought it was the best deal for the money.
The high bid, she said, would have included an additional seal coat on top of the running surface.
Going with the middle bid means the district will have to apply a maintenance seal coat in about 5 to 7 years. Sylvester estimates that cost would be about $30,000.
General Acrylics owner Johnny Dereno said that he expects the entire project to take about two weeks.
"I'm going to check with my materials supplier but I hope to get started by the first of next week," he said.
The process will include one day of clean up and preparation on the track, then several days of laying the actual surface. After two days of curing, the track will be ready for striping, Dereno said. The rubberized surface will include nine lanes on the track, as well as the runways on the long jump, high jump and pole vault pits.
Laying the new surface will mark the culmination of a project that has been several years in the making.
Last year, after the Tonto Apache Tribe donated $150,000 and the Credit for Kids Tax Program produced another substantial sum, it appeared as if the facility was finally going to become a reality.
However, completion was slowed when sewer lines and cables in the middle of the track had to be relocated.
This spring, work crews worked to lay curbing and a prep surface on the 400-meter oval. Those renovations upped the price tag of the project from original estimates of $200,000 to what PUSD Superintendent Herb Weissenfels estimates will be closer to $300,000.
When the project is finally competed, Payson will have a top-notch athletic facility that could mark the return of track and field competitions to the Rim country.
Due to the deteriorating condition of the old Payson High track, the school has not hosted a meet in three years.
Veteran PHS track coach Chuck Hardt predicts the new facility will also allow the school to host regional and state meets, as well as Junior Olympic competitions.
When not in use by school teams, the new track will be open to the community.