Drainage improvements come to Landon’s track and field

T. J. Macomber of Robert M. Curry Masonry and Concrete assists Sam Lookadoo of Cemex Company in the pouring while Robert Curry smooths the concrete as the three construct a gutter pan at Landon Middle School July 21.

T. J. Macomber of Robert M. Curry Masonry and Concrete assists Sam Lookadoo of Cemex Company in the pouring while Robert Curry smooths the concrete as the three construct a gutter pan at Landon Middle School July 21.

In late June after school recessed for the summer, workmen were finally seen using heavy equipment to improve the drainage on the playing field and surrounding track at Julia Landon College Preparatory School.

It’s been more than a year since Jacksonville City Council President Lori Boyer, who represents District 5, allocated $75,000 from her Loblolly Recreation/Parks account to upgrade the drainage at the often soggy facility. By funding the project, Boyer said her intention was to provide San Marco residents with a safe place and cushioned surface to jog and walk when the school is not using the facility. No organized league play will be allowed on the field, but the grassy expanse inside the track will be available to the public for pick-up soccer games and neighborhood youth team practices, she said.

In early June 2015, prior to Boyer transferring the money, a joint-use agreement was signed between the Duval County School Board and the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. Construction on the field was originally slated for summer 2015, but was delayed when a preliminary estimate for the work came in over budget. After reviewing the project’s scope and receiving several bids, Duval County Schools decided to wait until the end of the 2015-16 school year before starting construction.

Although the school board and the city co-sponsored the project, Duval County Schools took the lead, hiring the contractors. In June, Aquino Construction, which is overseeing the project, installed storm drains and piping underground at the athletic facility. Robert M. Curry Masonry and Concrete inserted a cement gutter pan between the track and the playing field in order to direct rainwater away from the playing surfaces. The project should be finished within six to eight weeks, prior to the start of school, according to a sign on the athletic facility’s chain-link fence.

Once the improvements are complete and new sod is planted, the facility will be named Landon Middle School Park and will be open for public use during evenings after school sports practices are finished and the district is no longer using the facility. The track and field will also be available to the public on weekends and during the day during the summer. As with other parks in San Marco, the track and field will only be open until dark because there are no lights at the facility.


By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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