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City plans to build new fitness track, field at West Junior High

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | 10:00 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The reconstruction of the track and field at West Junior High School will receive city funding pending the City Council's approval of an ordinance that would allocate $25,000 to the project.

The money, appropriated annually for playground improvements at a Columbia public school, would come from revenue generated by the 2010 Park Sales Tax.

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A memo to the council from the Parks and Recreation Department indicates that construction of a longer, 400-meter track with a new football and soccer field has already begun, as the expansion of the Columbia Public School District Administration Building required removal of West Junior High's existing track. The proposed ordinance would officially authorize the use of city tax money to fund the project.

"As always, we are appreciative of all the (city's) past support of many elementary school playground projects," Deputy Superintendent Nick Boren wrote in a December 2011 proposal.

The track would be available for public use when it's not in use for school activities. The parks department said in its report that the project is in line with the Imagine Columbia's Future vision, which calls for "a network of attractive and safe parks and recreational amenities ... that provide area residents with access to nature, recreation, and facilities for active play, both indoors and out."

West Junior High Principal Sandra Logan said she is glad to offer an improved playground to the neighborhood.

"Anytime we can work together, that's a good thing," Logan said of the effort to cooperate with the city.

The ordinance received a first reading Tuesday evening and is scheduled for a final vote by the City Council during its regular meeting on Feb. 6.


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