BREWER — Brewer High School has a longstanding tradition of competitiveness in outdoor track and field, but the Witches have gone without their own facility for two years.
Brewer will be back home this spring when its new, eight-lane track complex opens for meets.
The city’s new K-8 elementary school was constructed on top of where the Witches’ old six-lane facility was located, and a track was constructed below the school on Parkway South.
The school will open for classes starting with the 2011-12 school year.
Brewer athletic administrator Dennis Kiah said the facility will be ready to host meets when the outdoor track season gets under way in mid-April.
“We’ve still got some work to do in the discus area and put some poles up and some netting up there, but other than that we’re going to be ready to go this spring,” Kiah said.
He also praised the work that the folks of Maine Tennis and Track did on Brewer’s new facility. That same firm recently re-did Brewer’s tennis courts.
“They’re very professional and (are) people we trust,” Kiah said. “I don’t know if they’ve got the bathrooms or the building in the far side (finished) yet, but they’re saying it will be ready for this spring and we’ll be able to have track meets there.”
For the last two seasons, the Witches have had to practice at Bangor’s Cameron Stadium, which turned into a crowded facility in 2009 with Bangor, Brewer, John Bapst and Hampden Academy all using that track.
The new Hampden Academy is being constructed where the Broncos’ track was once located.
“We’re very thankful for the last few years where Bangor helped us out by allowing us to practice and do our meets over there,” Kiah said.
As far as recreational use is concerned, Kiah said that likely won’t be possible until the construction firm working on the K-8 school, Nickerson & O’Day, officially turns the grounds over to the Brewer School Department.
“I don’t think they’ll even allow anybody on there until they’re ready to give (the property) up,” Kiah said.
But once that does happen, the track should generate plenty of use from recreational athletes and local track clubs. The Sub 5 Track Club, a local running club, held summer track workouts at Brewer’s facility before relocating to Bangor the last two summers.
“Back when we had the other track, it was not used 24 hours a day, but it was used seven days a week, and many hours of each day, and we anticipate the same thing will happen with the new facility,” Kiah said.
The surface of the track was laid down earlier this fall, which was an essential task given Maine’s winter conditions.
“I went down after the first storm and it wasn’t bad,” Kiah said.
With a new eight-lane facility in the Bangor area, Brewer’s new facility should be a prime location to host conference and state championship meets.
The only other school in the Penobscot Valley Conference that features an eight-lane track is Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, which has hosted PVC and state meets throughout the decade.
“We’ve had PVCs at our facility anyway back when it was a six-lane track, we certainly have the people that know how to run track meets, so we’re really looking forward to getting back there,” Kiah said.
Kiah is anticipating the first meet on the new facility will occur during April vacation week, as that is generally when spring track teams kick off their seasons.