SSHS District-JBU enter partnership on track facility.
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.”