Jack Christiansen Track upgrades delayed due to weather

Yixuan Xie

Upgrades to the Jack Christiansen Track at Colorado State University will last for a few more months than expected.

Track under construction.
The $2.4 million upgrade to the Jack Christiansen Memorial Track still sits unfinished. The track was originally scheduled to be finished by the end of October 2017 but still is without grass or a running surface. Construction began June 12, 2017 and has now been rescheduled to finish May 1, 2018. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

The $2.4 million project began the week of Jun. 12, 2017 and was scheduled to be completed around Nov.1, with weather permitting, but the track is still under construction.

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According to Fred Haberecht, assistant director for Facilities Management and university planner, the contractor has experienced several weather and other delays that have increased the duration of the project beyond the targeted completion date.

“The synthetic running surface is temperature sensitive and there must be sufficiently warm weather for the surface to cure and adhere to the post-tensioned concrete surface,” Haberecht wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Expected upgrades include a complete replacement of the track surface and asphalt base so that sprints and hurdles will be able to be run on the east or west straightaways to take advantage of the wind, and upgrades to the hammer and discus cage, which will be shifted to the center of the facility’s north side and the cage will be flanked by a pair of shot put pits, according to a press release from CSU.

In addition, the high jump and javelin areas will be expanded and the pole vault runways will be replaced. The runways for the long jump and triple jump are also planned to be relocated to the east side of the facility, adding more space for the pole vault, long jump and triple jump.

The expected updates will be the first updates the track has received since 2008.

Currently, quite a bit of the work has already been done. However, since the weather has to be constantly warm and dry for the synthetic surface to be applied to the contract, a completion date for the project depends on weather. Though signs near the track indicate the anticipated reopening of the track as May 1, 2018, there is not a projected re-opening date for the track yet, according to Haberecht. 

“As such, the plan is to complete as many of the non-temperature sensitive items as possible this winter and then to resume construction and the completion of the synthetic surface as soon as the temperature and weather allows this spring,” Haberecht wrote.

Collegian reporter Yixuan Xie can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @YixuanXie1.