Track was old in good times, too

Thank you for running the March 24 article on the aging track at Cascade High School. It’s nearly incomprehensible how an essentially dirt track has survived at a Class 4A high school in Everett for over 40 years without any major upgrades.

Money is tight, budgets are locked, unemployment is high, layoffs are always on the horizon and levies take time to organize and make ballots. The reasons we cannot afford to fix this now are many and real. All of the reasons, however, are short-term and cyclical.

In the 40-year lifespan of the tired Cascade track, how many economic down cycles has Snohomish County lived through? How many up cycles? Count them up and compare the total to the number of times the track has been improved. In the meantime, kids spend their high school years using a bottom-grade running facility that causes injuries, makes practice inconvenient, and does nothing for school pride. None of the kids running on that track want to hear about levies, budgets, school boundary changes, school board disagreements, or anything else. They just want not to have to run in the mud at their school.

The solution doesn’t need to be three, four, five or more years out. The Everett School District is full of brilliant, dedicated and creative individuals. It just takes a general belief that it’s the right thing to do, and an impetus to get the process started. This is a great opportunity to do something special right now for the students, the coaching staff, the school and the community.

Carl Shipley

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