BRUNSWICK

A group of community members aiming to raise nearly $1 million for the Brunswick High School track reconstruction has embarked on a capital campaign.

Barry Logan, president of the group RunBrunswick, introduced the organization and its plans to the town’s finance committee earlier this spring. The group formed in January in an effort to support the proposed track and field renovation project.

Logan said Wednesday it would take one to two years to raise the necessary funding for the reconstruction. A 10-member board has been formed and the Internal Revenue Service has approved the group’s nonprofit status, he said.

The group also has a new website, runbrunswick.org.

Logan, who will address the school board this week with an update on the group’s progress, said it is their intention to raise funds to cover the entire project, but that they will also seek a partnership with the town.

“The track is more than 20 years old and has exceeded its life span,” Logan said earlier this year.

The track renovation is expected to cost about $850,000, according to an estimate by Huntress Associates Inc., an athletic facility design firm based in Andover, Massachusetts.

He said he wants to discuss the value of the facility to the community as a whole, and reiterated he is sensitive to the town’s budget constraints.

RunBrunswick has started soliciting donations, and is in the process of reaching out to the business community and individuals, but Logan declined to give specifics on how much has been raised.

Logan said his own motivations for improving the track stem from his love of running, adding he has two children he would like to see use the track once they reach high school.

“It’s really a core facility to a functioning high school,” he said. “Track is uniquely inclusive, it takes in all comers and is organized to do so, and one aspect of the sport I love is that all finishers feel good about their performances, and brings people together in a way other sports are challenged to do.”

According to 2015-16 data compiled by Brunswick High School Athletic Administrator

Jeff Ramich, 65 athletes participated in winter track and 79 athletes in spring session. This season, 91 students participated in winter track, and he expects about 80 will join the spring team.

The group said the track is not a niche facility, that it supports the junior high and high school programs, as well as community use.

Councilor David Watson, a former track athlete and coach at Brunswick, Mt. Ararat and Freeport high schools, said when the original track was built it was made possible by community donations and support, adding the community should be involved in this project as well. He clarified, however, he has personal opinions about the track that differ from his opinions as a councilor representing townspeople.

“It’s going to have to be a community effort,” Watson said Tuesday.

Brunswick Schools Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said the current track is not considered safe for some events, and that it is closed for competition. The high school’s teams hold home meets at neighboring districts, he said.

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