Timeline for track restoration still unknown

first_img Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Bio ELLSWORTH — The April 7 storm that packed winds up to 77 miles per hour might seem like a distant memory to some. Power that was lost by thousands has long been restored, and fallen trees that blocked roadways have been cleared away.But for the Ellsworth high school and middle school outdoor track teams, that storm left a lasting impression when it flipped some 150 feet of aluminum bleachers onto the track they share.Dan Higgins, superintendent of the Ellsworth schools, said he contacted the School Department’s insurer as well as the bleachers’ manufacturer the next day after a custodian discovered the stands lying upside-down on the oval track located on Forrest Avenue.Three weeks after the storm, the site looks just as it did that morning.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“The determination will be whether or not the bleachers need to be replaced or could be repaired,” Higgins said.Higgins said the manufacturer/installer and an engineer are expected to assess the damage sometime this week and decide what will happen next.Higgins said the bleachers, which were purchased from a company headquartered in Connecticut called GT Grandstands, were installed in the fall of 2014 for $94,600.It took about a week and a half to assemble the stands, and Higgins expects it will take “some time” to take them apart if they need to be moved offsite.Higgins said there also appears to be some damage to the track’s polyurethane surface from the force of the impact, making the timeline for when the facility will be entirely usable again even more unpredictable.“We’re hoping to get everything taken care of so we can resume activities as planned,” Higgins said. “But it’s a matter of waiting for the appropriate parties to look at the damage so we can determine the next steps.”Meanwhile, the Ellsworth high school and middle school track teams are figuring out ways to keep their seasons alive.“You just have to roll with the punches,” said Ellsworth High School Athletics Director Josh Frost. “We’re making adjustments. We certainly haven’t cancelled our outdoor track season.”Both the high school and middle school teams were each scheduled to host two meets over the next few months. EHS has already relocated its first home competition that was slated for April 23.EHS was also scheduled to host a meet featuring all the Hancock County schools on May 20.Frost said he is optimistic about hosting that meet, but a back-up plan has already been set. The competition will be held at Mount Desert Island High School if needed.The EHS team has been traveling to MDI once a week to practice on the high school’s track.“You do what you have to do,” said EHS assistant coach Dennis Ishle. “They were nice enough to allow us to come down and practice there.”As for the other four days of the school week, the high school and middle school teams have worked out a system for sharing the half of the track not covered by the bleachers.Frost estimates some 45 athletes comprise the high school team while almost 100 compete for the middle school.“You obviously can’t have 150 kids on the track, using half the track,” Frost said. “So we’ve set up a schedule.”When all else fails, Ishle said the team uses its resources. Distance runners have jogged around town, and throwers have practiced behind the high school.However, the long jump pit is hard to replicate, and Ellsworth’s is currently under the toppled bleachers.Ellsworth’s pole vault pit, which Frost said would cost around $15,000 to replace, is also unavailable for unrelated reasons. Mice and mold inhabited the pad over the winter — a discovery made three days before the storm took out the other half of the track.But student-athletes are not the only ones affected.Higgins said he is also notifying community organizations scheduled to use the facility that their events will depend on the time it takes to restore the track.One of those upcoming events is the Relay for Life on June 3 and 4 — an overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that typically attracts hundreds of participants.“If they don’t have the bleachers off by then, that’s going to be an issue,” Ishle said. “There are a lot of people it’s going to impact.” Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016center_img Latest Posts Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all)last_img

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