May 26, 2016
The Keith Elementary School Cougar mascot leads fifth-grade student council members in an initial race around the school’s new jogging track during a dedication on May 24. Pictured, from left, are Brooke Hensley, Joshua Wagner, Keith Cougar, Leiana Coleman, Molly Swisher, Avery Brown and Jamie Kamp.
May 25, 2016—Keith Elementary School celebrated the completion of a project six years in the making with a dedication for its new jogging track at the school on May 24.
The approximately $85,000 track was the result of a fund raising effort that began in 2010. Keith’s fifth-grade class—which was in kindergarten when the effort launched—participated in the dedication ceremony and took a commemorative jog around the cement path that was built in April.
Keith Elementary School thanked several sponsors of the new jogging track with commemorative plaques during the track dedication on May 24. Pictured, from left, are Amy Wilkes, Keith PTO president; Tim Collins, civil engineer with Audobon Companies; Marc Neuman, president of Harris County Municipal District No. 322; Cheryl Fisher, Keith principal; the Keith Cougar mascot; Darlene Sedelmyer, Fairfield Athletic Club; John Holladay, president of Fairfield Fitness Center, Inc.; and Kim Urban, Fairfield Women’s Club.
“The best part was that we were able to wrap it up with this group of kids who were with us when we began,” said Cheryl Fisher, Keith principal. “We knew that it would be a lengthy process and we faced many obstacles, but it was so exciting when it was completed. It’s special that the students who were kindergarteners six years ago got to be a part of it.”
Keith secured numerous donations and services over the years to finish the track, including $42,500 raised by the Keith PTO. Harris County Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 322 donated another $7,500. MUD President Marc Newman visited the dedication to show the district’s support.
Keith students and staff stand inside the newly completed jogging track for an aerial photo in May 2016. The track was the result of approximately $85,000 raised over six years. (Photo courtesy Butch Stephens)
“We have funds in our utility district that we give back to the community every year, and this was one of the contributions we made,” said Newman, a CFISD staff member. “I think it’s fantastic. My original thinking when they brought it to me and I took it to our board was that we need something to build community. This track accomplishes that.”
The neighboring Fairfield Athletic Club contributed $5,000 to the track’s construction.
Keith students utilize the new jogging track following the dedication on May 24. The track will be available to community members after school hours and on weekends.
“We want to keep an ongoing community outreach that we have at the Fairfield Athletic Club,” said John Holladay, president of Fairfield Fitness Center, Inc. “With us being a neighbor across the street and with all the children that are involved with us and the school, it was a natural fit.”
The track fund also received $3,400 from Fairfield Sports Association and $1,000 from the Fairfield Women’s Club. Audubon Companies, through civil engineer and Keith parent Tim Collins, donated services worth $10,000 to design the track.
The Keith fifth-grade choir, under the direction of David Kastor, performs a song for the entire fifth grade during the Keith track dedication event on May 24.
Fisher also credited Jesse Clayburn, project manager, and Paul Roome, special projects manager, in the facilities planning and construction department, for seeing the project through to completion.
“This could not have been possible without many individuals putting their time, energy and resources into making this happen,” Fisher said. “We are so dependent on our community for support, and they came through on this track.”
The track will be used numerous times throughout the school week between health and PE classes and recess. It will also be accessible for community members after school hours and on weekends.
“We do a lot with our jog days and award top joggers, and we’re happy that they now have a safe, flat surface to run on,” Fisher said. “After hours, we are an extension of the Fairfield Athletic Club’s fields, and the Fairfield community will now also be able to utilize the track.”