The current reconstruction of one of Jackson Burley Middle’s multi-use fields will result in a new athletic track for the school and improved drainage systems for the field, George Shifflett, Deputy Director of Building Services for Albemarle County, told C-VILLE.
Tracks and field: Jackson Burley Middle School’s new field will also host the Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle upon completion.
The new five-lane, 250-meter asphalt track replaces a previous version made unusable and unsafe by drainage issues and wear and tear, says Maury Brown, county schools spokesperson. In order to correct standing water issues, the Burley field project also includes proper grading, drainage swales, and an underground drainage system. The project costs an estimated $186,000.
Once completed, the track will be used for physical education classes, by Murray High School students and community members alike, says Brown. Because county school fields can be rented out by organizations, the new surface should be safer for both students and community groups such as the Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle. SOCA has used Burley Middle School for the group’s 10-and-under division in recent years because of its central location and accessibility, says Program Coordinator Matt Wilson. However, the field’s standing water issues have made playing on it difficult, if not impossible at times. Wilson says he is “kind of excited” by the potential created by the field’s improvements, but says that the short-term effects on SOCA are “not great.” With Burley’s field out of commission, other local fields are currently under pressure.
The project’s completion has been slated for August 22, two days before Albemarle County Public Schools are back in session for the 2011-2012 school year. However, the field will not be available for immediate use, “in order for the grass to be established,” says Shifflett. SOCA is not planning to use the field either this fall or spring but will be “disappointed” if the field is not ready for fall 2012.