By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
PALMYRA, Mo. -- A large donation has put Palmyra High School in position to have a new eight-lane all-weather track installed at the high school by the 2014 season.
Chester Bross Construction Company recently pledged $300,000 to the grading and construction of the facility. The track would replace the school's existing six-lane cinder track. Palmyra athletic director Brian Wosman said an all-weather track would give Palmyra the capability of hosting larger meets, such as the Clarence Cannon Conference meet and districts
It's the first phase of a three-phase athletic facility improvement plan that was organized by the Palmyra Booster Club a couple years ago, Wosman said.
"It's slowly but surely starting to take off," Wosman said. "I think once we start getting some of the phases out there and people start seeing things, (it will only help). And the track is just not for the kids. It's also for the community. We have a lot of community people who use our facilities in the summer, in the spring and early in the fall.
"It would be a benefit for our track team, our community and our P.E. classes."
The project's second phase would be the installation of a synthetic turf football field inside the track. Currently, Palmyra plays its football games at a field next to the middle school. The third phase would be the construction of baseball and softball fields at the complex. Those teams currently play at city fields.
Cost for the track is expected to be about $350,000, with the football field expected to cost about $750,000, Wosman said. As the process unfolds, bleachers and new lights also would need to be installed.
Wosman said all funds are being raised via the booster club from outside donations, such as from businesses or families. The school is not funding the project.
There's no specific timeline in place for the second and third phases of the project.
"We can't move forward until we have the money," Wosman said. "The start will be phase one with the track. We will do work inside the track in thinking we will eventually have a turf field, so that if the money does come, there's enough room for it inside the track. Hopefully we will have phase two down the road, and when we do, we'll be able to go in there without messing with the track."