SSHS Dis­trict-JBU en­ter part­ner­ship on track fa­cil­ity.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

The Siloam Springs School Board ap­proved a part­ner­ship with John Brown Univer­sity on Oct. 9 that will en­able ren­o­va­tions and resur­fac­ing to take place at the mid­dle school’s track and field fa­cil­i­ties.

In ex­change for share­duse of the fa­cil­i­ties, the univer­sity agreed to pro­vide half of the nec­es­sary funds — $400,000. JBU also an­nounced that in light of the new part­ner­ship, they will be launch­ing an NAIA in­ter­col­le­giate track and field pro­gram in fall 2019.

Pro­vi­sions con­tained in the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing al­low for JBU to use the track for 12 years, or un­til it needs to be resur­faced. In any case, the part­ner­ship can be re­newed pro­vided each school cover half the cost. Ren­o­va­tions for Glenn W. Black Sta­dium in­clude re­con­struc­tion of the sub-sur­face of the track to re­place it with a ma­te­rial more suit­able for run­ning.

Other projects will in­clude steeple chase pit and al­ter­ing the in­te­rior ends of the track to make them more prac­ti­cal for field events. School dis­trict work­ers will also be re­mov­ing the stands on the west side of the fa­cil­ity and ren­o­vat­ing the pub­lic re­strooms near the stands on the east side. Of­fi­cials from both in­sti­tu­tions have ex­pressed en­thu­si­asm for the project, such as school board su­per­in­ten­dent Ken Ramey.

“We are ex­cited to part­ner with John Brown Univer­sity to re­build our track into a mod­ern and safe fa­cil­ity, an en­deavor that nei­ther of us could un­der­take with­out this part­ner­ship,” Ramey said. “In the fu­ture, with our ex­cel­lent coaches and stu­dent ath­letes, we can host 5A Con­fer­ence, State and Meet of Cham­pi­ons events.

“Last year, we had 152 to­tal stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in track, grades seven through 12,” Ramey said. “We sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ate the re­la­tion­ship and part­ner­ships we have with John Brown Univer­sity. The shared use of the track and field fa­cil­i­ties will cer­tainly ben­e­fit stu­dents from sev­enth grade through their col­lege years.”

A state­ment from JBU Pres­i­dent Chip Pol­lard echoed a sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment.

“We are deeply grate­ful to Siloam Springs School Dis­trict for al­low­ing us to en­ter into this part­ner­ship with them,” Pol­lard said. “This new track will be a great as­set to SSSD, JBU and the com­mu­nity of Siloam Springs, and it is an­other ex­am­ple of how pub­lic and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions can work to­gether for com­mon good.

“It is part of JBU’s mis­sion to be a good neigh­bor and we see this part­ner­ship to ren­o­vate the track as an­other ex­am­ple of our com­mit­ment and our grat­i­tude for be­ing a part of Siloam Springs.”

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