By Bobbie Poynter
Following in the footsteps of other Knox County schools that have recently installed quarter-mile walking tracks, the Lynn Camp community wants to build one of its own. However, this track, which will incorporate both school campuses and much more, will be a full three-mile, 8 to 10-foot wide, asphalt trail.
“We already have the farm, the playground expansion, the new gym and even the older track at the elementary school,” said Lynn Camp Principal Anthony Pennington. “We want to tie the two campuses into one, to draw the schools and the community together. The idea is to improve the overall culture of the community. You improve your culture, you improve your academics.”
Gina Johnson, Community Education Director for Knox County Schools is applying for a grant from the Department for Local Government to pay for the new track. The approved grant could be up to a $10,000 matching grant, which means the community will have to match whatever amount the state approves.
The idea is for the track to be more than just a walking track. It will be a shared use track, encompassing bicycles, skateboards, runners, baby strollers and will also be handicapped accessible. The grant application will include money for signs, rest areas, and at least one water fountain and restroom.
“This is a great way to use the track for multi-purposes,” said Lynn Camp Coach David Bullard. “Originally, we had plans to make a cross-country track around the two schools. This is even better. You do it for cross-country and everything else would fit. We can even incorporate the track into our Project Fit program.”
The three-mile track will run from the circle at the front of the middle/high school, behind the ball fields, through the farm and the outdoor weight training area and connect to the elementary school grounds and back.
Lynn Camp Coach Cody Dixon and resident Heather Martinez volunteered to track down the local information needed to begin the project and will bring their findings to the next meeting.
“Remember,” Johnson reminded everyone. “The community must be committed to this for it to be plausible. You must take into consideration the added cost of creating handicapped access from the parking lots to the track, as well as the maintenance needed in the years to come.”
Another meeting has been scheduled at the middle/high school for Tuesday, March 31 at noon.