Why Pierson in Sag Harbor Should NOT Build a Two-Lane Track

The Proposed Pierson Track
The Proposed Pierson Track, sagharborschools.org

There is a singular beauty to a regulation, six-lane, quarter mile track. It’s a facility for people of all athletic abilities to pursue their fitness goals. Walkers are welcome to log miles, while more competitive runners can train for races alongside them. There’s room for everyone to go at their own pace.

Why, then, would Pierson High School consider floating a $1.62 million bond to fund a turf field surrounded by a two-lane track? Pierson High School does not currently have a regulation track, and track athletes from Pierson are not able to compete on a home field.

If you’re going to spend money on a track, why not do it in a way that can be used to host interscholastic athletic competitions and benefit the entire community? As the proposal is now, only walkers stand to benefit. And if the two-lane track at the Southampton Rec Center has taught us anything, it’s that a loop that small becomes easily congested.

Six lanes. Not two. A quarter-mile long. Not oddly-shaped.

Here’s another idea: If the track can’t be regulation size, and the argument for the strangely shaped, two-lane track is lack of space, then a more beneficial solution would be to use packed dirt and create a fitness trail.

Fitness trails have various stations placed along the route, encouraging people to work on strength—sit-ups, pushups, squats, etc.—as they go. That way, people who prefer more intense workouts can do cardio around the track, and periodically stop to do exercises most often reserved for gyms.

A packed dirt trail is preferable to track rubber because it’s more forgiving on knees. And, the East End is strangely devoid of running trails. Walkers would, of course, still be welcome.

Sag Harbor School district residents can vote on two bonds on Wednesday, November 13. The second bond, for $7.35 million would allow the school to make various safety and mechanical improvements and renovations.

KNOW BEFORE YOU VOTE: Read a presentation of the proposals here

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