After a year of renovation and construction, the $4.1-million Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex was completed and turned over to the Air Force athletic department in July of 2011.
The project included a complete renovation of the facility and a relocation of the track's radius points, shifting the oval slightly to the north and west, while abutting up against the hillside terrace on the west side. The common finish line was moved to the northeast corner in an effort to take advantage of the predominantly south and southwest winds in April-June. The move of the finish line also prompted the move of 3500 bleachers to the east side of the track, providing spectacular views of the Front Range.
The Falcons' new facility features 100,000-square feet of surface installation. The track oval, D-zones and jump aprons are a brilliant combination of "Berlin Blue" and Grey colored surface. The synthetic surface is a "full-pour" polyurethane synthetic, with a light encapsulation top spraycoat of polyurethane to help resist weathering and discoloring due to high UV penetration at this altitude. The oval features eight 48-inch lanes and the widest single radius allowable by the IAAF (36.50 meters, 119'6"). There is an inside steeplechase water jump on the southwest curve and a secondary finish line in the southeast corner for the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as the 100- and 110-meter hurdles to take advantage of alternate winds from the north.
For the field events, there are two complete D-zones at each end of the infield. The facility boasts dual parallel long jump/triple jump runways on the homestretch side of the complex, with pits at each end, allowing for competition capability from either the north-south or south-north directions. There are full-length javelin runways in each D-zone so that the throwers may work with the prevailing winds. There is a discus throw ring and cage on the north side, as well as a combination discus throw/hammer throw cage and rings on the south end to provide the best advantage with wind. Dual shot put rings are also located on the south D-zone.
There are also dual pole vault runways on the backstretch, allowing for two boxes and pits in both the north-south and south-north directions. In addition, there will be two additional runways on the north D-zone, allowing vaulters to jump in a west-east direction. The prominent pole vault area abuts against a hillside terrace, allowing spectators to sit on the grassy slope in a casual and picnic-style atmosphere. The high jump will be located in the north D-zone, with the capability of an approach of more than 80 feet in any of four directions.
The renovation cost included $225,000 of in-ground equipment, including cages, rings, toeboards, sand pit forms, vault boxes, pit platforms, communication boxes and curbing. It also included $175,000 of external equipment, including landing pads, standards, hurdles, starting blocks, timing and measuring equipment, covered competitor benches, performance display boards, lane markers and implement carts.
In addition to the improvements to the track itself, several additional amenities were added to the complex. A new "Meet Operations" building was built along the northeast corner of the track, even with the finish line, that will be used exclusively for computerized photo-timing and scoring.
The former meet operations building was remodeled to include a press area with data ports and viewing windows on the second level, along with a new team lounge with multi-media capabilities. The lower level will remain designated for storage. An area for sports medicine will be located outside the multi-purpose building during meets.
A handicapped seating area was also built along the northwest turn, featuring room for 34 wheelchairs.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 100,000 square feet of synthetic surface
- 8x48-inch lanes
- 4 long jump/triple jump pits; 2 long jump/triple jump runways
- 4 pole vault runways; 6 pole vault box positions
- 4 high jump baselines, with ability to jump in any of 4 directions
- 2 throwing cages, with rings
- 2 shot put rings
- 2 javelin runways
- 2000 linear feet of protective fencing
- 3500-capacity seating, plus 34 wheelchair accessible seats
- $4.1-million, including $400,000 of new equipment