CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
SPICEWOOD — Teachers and students at Spicewood Elementary School experienced the benefits of their upgraded running track Oct. 29 soon after Burnet County crews laid the foundation for a safer and more reliable surface.
“We were out there jogging with kindergartners. It’s very cushioned. It’s very good on the knees and the feet, a whole lot better for the kids,” physical education teacher Shelly Fidler said. “Up until this point, we had a rough track. Every single time it would rain, it would wash away dirt, and we needed to have someone to come in and fix holes.”
Staff at the elementary school set a goal several years ago to improve the 10-foot-wide gravel track on which six laps make a mile.
Burnet County officials teamed up with Marble Falls Independent School District to launch the project this school year.
“The inter-local agreement is done by state statute. We can do up to $15,000 per year in equipment and manpower to assist other political subdivisions of the state,” said Burnet County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery. “The school fronts the materials we use.”
Teachers, students and staff coordinated fundraising efforts to help pay for the project.
“We made that an initiative this year,” school nurse Allyson Black said.
A candy fundraiser resulted in about $6,000, and staff applied for and received a $1,500 Action For Healthy Kids grant.
“The benefits of the effort will be an increased health initiative with the kids — increased safety on the track,” Black said.
Not only do students use the track for fitness and programs such as the Mile Club, but parent-teacher groups also utilize it for fundraising projects, including a Silly Fun Run.
“It’s going to be a safer place for the kids,” Black said.
The Spicewood community is also welcome to use the track after school and on the weekends.
“Any time we do these types of inter-local agreements, it’s a great cooperative and collaborative effort between the local entities,” Dockery said. “It makes us look less like government and more like friends and neighbors.”