Construction still underway for Marfa High School’s new track 

Marfa High School’s new track is still under construction and has yet to be fully completed, but school officials say the location will be able to accommodate this week’s high school graduation and should be open to the public in mid-June. Photo by Mary Cantrell.

MARFA — Marfa High School’s new track, which was originally slated to be fully completed in time for graduation ceremonies this Friday, is experiencing some slight delays.

Friday evening’s high school graduation will still be held on the field and will be made accessible to students and their families, with routine processions onto the field. The delays are, in part, due to this week’s rain and asphalt repairs that needed to be completed. 

The installation of the polyurethane surfacing, or the track’s top coat, is on schedule, and the crew is set to begin painting stripes on the six-lane track soon. The public opening date is tentatively scheduled for June 13. Marfa ISD Athletic Director Linda Ojeda said the school will post informative signage and likely hold an orientation of sorts to inform the public about the new track and accompanying rules and regulations. 

For example, bikes and roller blades will not be permitted, and precautions will need to be taken to ensure the track lasts well into the future. 

“That’s going to be a big thing: protecting it,” said Ojeda. “I know it’s going to get a lot of great use. I think with us working together with the community, our students and everybody else we will be able to take care of it in order for everyone to use it whenever they need it.” 

The school board approved the construction of the brand-new track in January and work officially began on the site in March. The old track posed a safety hazard and was due for much needed upgrades, school officials said at the time. The project is costing the school board $926,000, which is being withdrawn from their reserves or “fund balance” account. 

At a school board meeting earlier this year, Superintendent Oscar Aguero said even with the nearly million dollar dip into the reserves there would still be a remaining $2 million in their fund balance account, adding that in the past seven years since he has been involved with Marfa ISD the district has never utilized the fund balance account. 

The track’s continued maintenance will see the school board spending a recommended $5,000 to $12,000 every year or every other year for track cleaning and $245,000 every 10 to 12 years to retop.  

Complete with a high jump area, pole vault runway, long jump, triple jump as well as shotput and discus rings, the new-and-improved track will allow for the school district to host regional track meets. Ojeda said they hope to start hosting small meets as soon as this coming fall, and will seek volunteers from the community to help run the athletic events.