The patched-up Sharon High School track will be monitored for the next three to four months for bubbles in the resurfacing that was done exactly two summers ago.
School officials then will decide their next step, which might be to seek voter approval for $143,000 in work proposed by Cape and Island Tennis & Track, which installed the surface.
The firm's offer is for $68,000 for the new materials and $75,000 for the labor to remove both the 2010 surface and the top 1.5 inches of asphalt, Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Finance Glenn Brand told the school committee last week. Cape and Island Tennis & Track has offered to install the new surface at its own cost, Brand said. The firm did the summer 2010 resurfacing project for $63,000. The bubbling began in May 2011, he said.
Gale & Associates, an engineering firm the schools hired to look at the issue, recommended accepting Cape and Island's offer, Brand said.
Hiring a different contractor would cost Sharon about $225,000, Brand said.
"We will review this in the fall in executive session and it may or may not become part of our capital request for the following year," Chairman Laura Salomons said.
Besides monitoring the situation, and having Cape and Island patch any new bubbles, school officials will talk with new Athletic Director William Martin about using the track for everyday use and for competitions, Brand said. The track's condition prevented Sharon High's spring track teams from holding home meets this season.
"That's not a good thing for our kids," School Superintendent Timothy Farmer said.
"We need to host as often as we are guests somewhere else."
Sharon Schools Director of Maintenance and Operations Kenneth Wertz said the track has a gravel base, 2 to 2.5 inches of a binder coat asphalt, an inch of a finer asphalt, and the rubberized surface on top.
However, Gale engineers say moisture is trapped in the track, causing the bubbles, he said.
Cape and Island is "the recognized leader for track surfaces in the Northeast. They've done over 400 tracks," Wertz said.
"Luckily for us, we're working with one of the best in the business," he said.
"Unfortunately, everyone's saying the same thing: that shouldn't have happened."
Wertz said the issue is "starting more and more" on school tracks nationwide.
The trend over the past two to three years has been to replace, not resurface, those tracks, he said.
The adhesives have changed over the past decade or so, Wertz noted.
Sharon school officials' decision on seeking capital funding for Cape and Island's proposal is expected in early October.
School board member Emily Smith-Lee said she wants to have "a full discussion of how the different legal scenarios play out."
"I may become convinced that this is the right deal to take, but we did use a bunch of capital money just a few years ago and are about to go back and ask for some more," Smith-Lee said.
"So, I think we have at least some responsibilities to that."