Macopin running track shines with new night lights

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    JoAnn McGuire and Patty Maglio exercise together on the Macopin Field track at least three times a week, 1-2 miles at a time. "We used to run on the roads in West Milford," McGuire said. "If we were up here on the old track, we would be watching out for the potholes and making sure we don't slip on the gravel. There was never a good or safe place to exercise." This year, however, all of that has changed. Back in September 2004, the Macopin Field track was completed and marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 29, 2004. "This was one of the many projects funded through the bond referendum approved by the voters in 2003," said Steven Cea, Business Administrator and Board Secretary. The track was paved and given more defined lines that do not have to be repainted every time the area is in use. High school students who use the area regularly for sports are happy with the results. "We can finally see the lanes!" Ginny Blackowski said with a laugh. Blackowski, a junior at West Milford High School and first-time track runner, says the team has benefited from the new track providing better traction, leading to better times and personal records. "We wish we could have more home meets other than the three scheduled, but we'll enjoy hosting the meets with a new track to be proud of." With the spring and summer season rapidly approaching, the district keeps some of the lights on from dusk until 11:00 pm to allow residents, such as McGuire and Maglio to exercise on the track. The lights, which have been in place for about three years, were completed by the football booster club and a group of parent volunteers, and headed by the Musco Lighting Company. The purchase and installation cost about $70,000; $20,000 was contributed by different groups and volunteer hours, while the Board of Education acquired the financing for about $50,000 over 10 years. "The lighting at the track benefits the community, parents and sports teams in many ways," Cea says. "The lights enable the football, soccer and track teams to have evening events, which has increased attendance and brought excitement to the community. Parents are able to see their children play sports without losing time from work." With the area being used for various events including high school graduation in June, it has been a positive improvement to the community. As for McGuire and Maglio, they will continue to use the spring and summer months to their advantage and exercise at the track as much as possible. "We love our track!" the ladies said. "It's a great thing for West Milford to have."