Running on a Brand New Track at Deer Park High School

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A new school year brings not only the return of students, but also numerous renovations to ensure that the buildings and grounds are clean, safe, functional and ready to serve the needs of the entire school community. One obvious change at Deer Park High School that students, staff and visitors will immediately notice is the immaculate recent upgrade to the track and field.

“In a nutshell, the whole track was ripped out and replaced,” explained Kirk Gostkowski, the Deer Park School District’s administrator of facilities and operations. The prior track had been recoated and patched for many years, but was in dire need of replacement. The project took eight weeks altogether, with two outside firms contracted for a manpower total of 20. The facilities staff also conducted sprinkler repairs and moved the high jump, long jump and pole vault areas, making more room for other sports like lacrosse and football. New press boxes and lights had been installed two years ago, according to Gostkowski, leaving the fascia (the band-like surfaces below the roof edge) on the stands as the final piece of the renovation still to be completed.

Gostkowski takes a great deal of justifiable pride in the work of the grounds crew, who were in the middle of spraying a red, white and blue 9/11 commemorative ribbon on the field in time for the first home game. “We maintain everything with our staff and are hard-pressed at times, but these guys do a great job and are unmatched anywhere,” he said, adding, “There’s a lot of Deer Park graduates among them, so they care about the schools and grounds. That means something.”

In addition to the track and field, Gostkowski and his staff also refurbished and resurfaced the high school parking lots and replaced two of the school’s original roof sections. At Deer Park’s annual Superintendent’s Day conference in early September, Superintendent Eva Demyen showed faculty a slideshow of these ongoing renovations, and noted how pleased she was with progress on the district’s needed repairs. “The high school parking lot looks gorgeous,” she said. “It makes you feel proud to pull in to park.”