Leaders from Sampson County Schools are pressing forward with plans to build a track at Hobbton High School, but it may take the blessing of nearby residents.
Harold Bradshaw, director of auxiliary services, presented an update to the Board of Education during a recent work session. Currently, students have to travel to other locations to practice. The proposed project also includes space for a high jump, pole vault and soccer field.
“We hit the ground running with it and there’s a lot of things going on with it,” Bradshaw said.
The board’s attorney, Benjamin Lee Wright, is working with Athletic Coordinator Al Britt on easements for the proposed area behind Hobbton High School and Hobbton Middle School.
“They’re actively involved with it, going door-to-door trying to get signatures,” Bradshaw said.
To build the track, construction workers would have to travel down Water Oak Lane, which is the entrance way to a neighborhood, west of the campus, near Ward Swamp. It’s also the main entrance for Hobbton Middle School.
Adam Carter, an Environmentalist Consultant from Wetland Solutions, LLC., is expected to have a permit submitted soon.
“That’s another step to getting where we need to be,” Bradshaw said about certifying if the property is OK for construction.
Engineer Glen Tew and other officials are waiting for agreements from nearby subdivision property owners.
“That’s kind of stopped the project right now,” Bradshaw said about getting official permission.
Next, an erosion control permit may be issued. Currently, school officials are negotiating contracts with Progressive Design Collaborative for electrical engineering plans, which is required from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Bradshaw said alternatives are being explored for the project as well. He reported that if one property owner denied access, it would slow down plans.
During the discussion, Board Chairman Telfair Simpson said the district can not be denied access to property.
“You have to have access to your property, whether it’s a legal issue are not,” Simpson said. “You can’t be denied access to your property.”
The idea to build a track began in 2015 when Jeff Klaves, coach and Hobbton athletic director, made a presentation to the board of education. During his time at the school in the Newton Grove area, the team received a lot of accolades. Hobbton is the only high school building without a track.
Officials from Sampson County Schools are expecting the project to cost $350,000. Sampson County Commissioners assisted by providing $150,000 in November through a 4-1 vote, following presentations from student-athletes and Klaves. During a previous commissioners meeting, the county leaders denied funding in a 3-2 vote in October.
An additional $100,000 has been raised by school supporters. The remainder of the funds may be obtained through grants and fundraising efforts.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.