Brunswick group to seek funds for new track at high school

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BRUNSWICK – A group of residents has formed a nonprofit to raise money for a $860,000 replacement track at Brunswick High School.

“I think the cause is utterly worthy,” Barry Logan, co-founder of RunBrunswick, told the town finance committee March 16.

Weeds are growing through the cracks of the 21-year-old track’s peeling surface. While the lesser-worn outer lanes are still used for team practices, the school no longer holds competitive meets, given the track’s dangerous state of disrepair.

RunBrunswick’s 10-person board, composed mostly of parents with children in the school system, will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in the School Department offices at 46 Federal St.

The group hopes to start fundraising in the spring, after paperwork is filed with the IRS, board member Jonathan Wayne said last week.

Logan extolled the inclusively of track programs, which, he said, boasts high national participation rates, especially for girls.

“We hope and expect to accomplish this in partnership with the town,” he told the committee.

While Logan indicated at a recent school facilities committee that his commitment to fundraising might be compromised without financial support from the town, he and board member Jonathan Wayne said they are sure RunBrunswick will raise the funds regardless of municipal funding

Logan wouldn’t specify how much financial support he hopes the project will receive, but said he told the school facilities committee earlier this year that he envisions the town chipping in about half the cost.

“That’s the number we’ve shared in the past at a previous meeting,” he said.

Though the existing track was built in the late 1990s through fundraising, Logan argued the track deserves taxpayer funding because it supports municipal programs – a summer youth track and field camp through the Recreation Department – and public use by walkers and joggers.

RunBrunswick plans to spend the next year and a half raising the $860,000 – what committee chairman Steve Walker called a “pretty substantial lift.”

Superintendent Paul Perzanoski cautioned by email Friday that the total project cost could still vary until the funding is secured.

While the school facilities committee has used a design by Huntress Design Associates to base project discussions, the department still needs to officially accept the design bid. The study cost $32,000 to complete.

After the design bid is accepted, the project will undergo a competitive bidding process for construction, according to Perzanoski. 

After the meeting, Wayne said the RunBrunswick board is in its infancy and has yet to solidify a fundraising strategy.

However, the board has already sought guidance from the Tri-Town Track and Field Project, a nonprofit that raised money in support of a new $4 million track in Freeport.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter:@calliecferguson.

Weeds grow between cracks on the aging track at Brunswick High School.

Brunswick resident Barry Logan speaks at a recent finance committee meeting on behalf of the new nonprofit he co-founded, RunBrunswick, which will raise money for a new, $860,000 track at the high school.

Councilor David Watson holds up a piece of the peeling Brunswick High School track at a March 16 finance committee meeting. A group of residents formed a nonprofit earlier this month to raise $860,000 to replace the track.

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Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net.