Nick White can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but he and the Maryville High School track and field team could use a little help getting there.
Construction on the school district’s newest athletic facility — a new track on the campus of Coulter Grove Intermediate School — began early in the spring. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to be ready for the 2019 season.
White and his staff must raise $300,000 to finish the project, and so far White said they have raised $50,000.
“It is going to be a big-time track facility,” White said. “As far as the state of Tennessee, they want this facility to be second only to Tom Black Track at UT.”
The new facility will give the Maryville track program a night and day look from what it has been.
The Rebels used to share a six-lane track with the middle school team.
The area had no lights, no concession stands and no restroom facilities. Safety was an issue, too, because of the overcrowding during practices.
They could not host high school meets either.
There were so many kids, White said, that field event athletes barely got any reps because there was not enough space for nearly 200 competitors.
Despite those limitations, the teams fared well on the state level. The high school girls team is coming off a seventh-place finish at the state meet.
Georgie McDevitt won the state title in the triple jump. The middle school girls team placed second at the state meet.
“Our kids were used to it,” White said. “We’ve been able to do great things with a jumbled facility.”
That success allows White to dream of what Maryville could do with one of the best facilities around.
He said it would benefit the school district as a whole, too.
It could host AAU meets in the summer and a field day for the school district’s elementary students.
White has reached out to companies that have a history of donating to the school district and has received some promises. With many of those possibilities exhausted, though, White is hopeful for more contributions from other avenues.
“The school board’s vision is phenomenal,” White said. “They don’t want to do anything halfway. You see that with all of our facilities. Our facilities are second to none in the state.”
Those who want to contribute can reach White at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 865-982-1132.
A brochure with more information can be found at https://maryvilleathletics.com/2018/06/05/trackfundingcampaign/.