A new track and artificial turf on Jupiter High School’s athletic field are almost complete, with the $920,000 cost roughly split between the town and private contributions.
The Warriors sports teams started playing on the new turf in September. On Feb. 27, school officials plan opening ceremonies for the new track around the field. There are also high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault areas.
Jupiter high boosters raised about $520,000. The town paid about $400,000 for renovations it said were long overdue.
The old track, which was 10 years old, was soft enough in places that injuries could result, said Jupiter head track coach Matt Perry.
The red polyurethane track will have a “spongy” feel and be safer. It will be faster than the old track, he said.
“The new track will be easier on the body,” said Perry.
The old athletic field was just as bad. The field had worn out areas, and hills and valleys that were dangerous for players, said Principal Dan Frank.
“After an event, we couldn’t use it until the damage was repaired,” said Frank.
The new sports venues should draw more local and regional sporting contests, said Ernie Cox, president of Jupiter High School Athletic Boosters, the group that collected the donations.
Jupiter Christian, a private school on Delaware Boulevard, is paying the school $10,000 a year plus operating costs to use the 3,500-seat stadium for its Friday night varsity football games for five years.
The Jupiter Tequesta Athletic Association, which enrolls about 7,500 children between kindergarten and high school, is allowed to use the field for free because it is a town organization.
Florida High School Association regional and district track meets are planned in April. More events that will draw out-of-town athletes and spectators are expected, said Cox.
“More sports events mean more business to local restaurants and hotels,” said Cox.
The public will be able to use the track on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 a.m. - 7 a.m. Access on Sundays will be from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
The new football field is called Velocity Community Credit Union Stadium for five years. The naming is in return for the Palm Beach Gardens-based company’s $100,000 donation.
The new track does not have a name, but for $100,000 a business can put its name on the track for 10 years.
The biggest contribution for the track was $50,000 from Nick Mastroianni, the president of Allied Capital & Development. The Jupiter-based company, which developed Harbourside Place, gets the $150 million waterfront development’s logo — a lighthouse, of course — imprinted on the D-shaped area between the track and both end zones.
The general contractor for the artificial grass was Pittsburgh-based ProGrass. The general contractor for the track is Amherst, Ohio-based All American Tracks Corp.
“The public is going to have lots of access. We want this to be a community athletic area,” said Cox.