The track at Wilton High School (WHS) Veterans Stadium re-opened on Friday, Aug. 6, after an extensive renovation over the summer to replace the aging, deteriorating surface.
Steve Pierce, director of Wilton’s Parks and Recreation Department, told GOOD Morning Wilton the reopening has gone smoothly.
The only problem, he said, was the rainy weather in July, which delayed the process of finishing the work.
Wilton residents Kristen and Bob Caruso were spotted at the track on Sunday. Kristen said she had been counting the days for the track to reopen.
“I run at a track almost five days a week,” Kristen said. “We’ve been going to New Canaan every day waiting for Wilton[‘s track] to open.”
“We absolutely love it!” she continued. “The colors are perfect for Wilton. It really represents Wilton’s commitment to maintaining the town’s appeal.”
Chris Colbert, a former WHS track runner, and rising senior and 400-meter sprinter at Yale University, was also eagerly awaiting the new track.
“The old track was well past its shelf life,” Colbert said, describing the cracked, deteriorated surface and exposed bottom layer.
“I had the chance to put the new surface to the test, and I’m extremely impressed,” he said.
Colbert called the track “a state of the art facility,” something he felt should give Wilton a sense of pride.
“This construction puts Wilton at the top of Fairfield County in terms of facilities and allows our future runners and athletes to train on a safe surface, and drop some fast times,” Colbert said.
Davis Cote, a 2021 WHS graduate who will be running cross country and track for the University of Vermont as a freshman this fall, went to the WHS track the very morning it re-opened.
“I couldn’t wait to hop on it and test it out,” Cote said.
He did so with former teammate Malcolm McCormick. “We did a big tempo session, 6 miles averaging 5:43 per mile, all on the track,” Cote said.
“It felt amazing. So springy and responsive, and the navy and light blue colorway makes it feel like a top tier collegiate or professional track,” he added.
Cote’s only disappointment was that the track wasn’t completed before he graduated from WHS.
“But I know that all the Wilton and FCIAC/CIAC athletes are in for a treat.”
The track is open to the public from dawn to dusk. It is lit on Monday-Friday evenings until 9 p.m. from Thanksgiving through Mar. 1, weather permitting. Town officials remind the public that the track may only be used for running and walking. Rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, bicycles and other wheels will damage the track and are not allowed. Strollers are prohibited for the same reason.
In a statement, officials credited several town residents and employees for making the project possible.
“The Town would like to thank Parks and Recreation Commissioner John Macken, Wilton High School Athletic Director Chris McDougal, and Wilton Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce who led the Track Replacement Project Committee, as well as the Parks and Recreation Commission for [its] input and advocacy. The Town would also like to recognize Back the Track for [its] role with advocacy, input and financial support of the track replacement project.”
The town’s press release also noted that the track was replaced at a cost of $973,300, “which is $276,700 or 22% less than the original estimate. The replacement was funded with monies from the Town’s 10-year bond sale in February, which achieved a .83% interest rate, and a gift of $80,500 from Back the Track.”