red bank count basie fields trackWorkers removed the track at Count Basie Fields last week to prepare for the installation of  a new surface. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


hot topic red bank njRed Bank Catholic High School will increase its contribution for upgrades at Count Basie Fields under a new cost-sharing arrangement approved by the Red Bank council last month.

Payments by the school, which uses the facility as its home football stadium, will help fund replacement of the cushiony running track, a project that got underway last week.

At its June 19 session, the council approved the purchase of a replacement running track at at the stadium facility for $242,580 from FieldTurf USA.

The contract was awarded without bid under a cooperative purchasing agreement managed by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey, a cooperative buying group for schools and municipalities, according to borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. Here’s the resolution.

FieldTurf USA was the subject of an news investigation in 2016, which  reported that hundreds of playing fields the company installed across America were breaking down years ahead of their purported life expectancy. But Red Bank officials said at the time that the multi-sport fields installed at Count Basie Fields were holding up as expected.

The track now being replaced was also installed by FieldTurf, and at 15 years old, “the aging and crumbling track has outlived its useful life,” according to an administration posting on the borough website.

The track replacement project , which calls for a new red, polyurethane surface and striping, is expected to be completed by August 1. The project also includes purchase of an Aer-Flo track protection mat to safeguard against damage from cleats, shoes, and wheeled equipment at the point where track crossing by football players is heaviest.

The council also negotiated an extension to a  a series of agreements dating back to 1978 with Red Bank Catholic that cover its use of the facility.

The most recent renewal, in 2012, had RBC contribute to the $900,000 capital cost of replacing the football field and track; increased its annual payment for field access; and extended the contract through 2025.

The new agreement calls for a continuation of RBC’s $80,000 per year payments through 2025, plus contributions for capital improvements of $50,000 per year, also through 2025, which added four years to that portion of the agreement, said Shehady.

Here’s the a resolution.