What better place than a running track to hold a ribbon cutting? Students and staff at Good Hope High School all crossed the finish line on Thursday, breaking the red ribbon to commemorate the official unveiling of the school’s new eight-lane athletics track.
The $92,000 project is the result of years of savings, fundraising and good old-fashioned teamwork, giving Good Hope High School the only path to regulation in the school system across the country. Cullman County. This means that Good Hope can act as a host site for future athletics events that will bring students from other schools to the area.
“That’s why we added extra lanes; This will allow us to hold track and field competitions,” said Good Hope High School principal John Hood of the project, which renovated, widened and resurfaced the old track.
“They came and sealed everything up and covered it up, laid new asphalt and added the two new lanes. It’s very enjoyable and a great addition for our student-athletes.
“It will be the only track we have right now that is fully regulated,” said Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette, who noted that the entire project was funded with locally raised funds, not on the county school budget.
“This track was entirely funded solely by the efforts of the local school,” he said. “They’ve been fundraising for a while to get to this, and no district-wide funds have been spent. State Rep. Corey Harbison secured a significant portion of the cost of this project through statutory funds, and they saved for it for several years. They did fundraisers, they wrote several grants, and the City of Good Hope also contributed money to help make that happen.
Tentative plans call for further improvements around the track as funds become available. These could include lighting, seating and other amenities to make the track a more welcoming place for visiting athletes. “We will continue to work with the school and support them to get what they need to be able to host athletics competitions in the future,” Barnette said.