By Carolyn Mitchell
How’s life in the fast lane?
Much more colorful these days for student runners at Knoxville Catholic High since Competition Athletic Surfaces resurfaced the school’s track with alternating lanes of green and gold.
The two-color renovation demonstrates the Chattanooga company’s willingness to attempt untried assignments, collaborate with suppliers to accommodate customers’ budgets and apply imaginative approaches to overcoming challenges.
“Our staff has experience working on nearly every type of surface in the athletic surfaces industry,” says CAS president Lee Murray. “But we rarely are asked to do a two-color track. What’s more, the Knoxville Catholic budget for the new track made the project seem way out of reach.”
The CAS tradition of relying on staff creativity and superior products to meet its customers’ needs led to the attractive new track for Knox Catholic.
“We turned to our suppliers and figured out a way to do the project actually a little below the school’s budget,” Murray says. “And we called on the ingenuity and experience of our staff to produce a two-color track that is both aesthetically pleasing and durable.”
The 82-year-old home of Knoxville’s Fighting Irish has a long tradition of athletic excellence and today offers students the opportunity to participate in 17 sports.
Knoxville Catholic Athletic Director Jason Surlas says he was thinking of replacing the old black track with a conventional one-color surface when a track coach suggested two colors in keeping with the newly rehabbed football field.
Surlas, who played football for the University of Tennessee, is glad he warmed to the coach’s idea. He says the new track has been a huge hit with faculty and students.
“The track created quite a buzz,” he says. “In fact, it was the talk of the campus for weeks after its completion.”
The CAS surfacing job is prominently featured on the school website with two images of Knox Catholic runners posed on the green and gold track lanes.
Over the years, Murray has supervised CAS assignments that include constructing a test site for changing the U.S. Tennis Open courts in New York to a two-color scheme and building an exercise track on the roof of a Unum insurance company building in downtown Chattanooga. He says his company uses Plexitrac surfacing systems for many jobs, including the Knox Catholic track.
“The materials are durable with excellent UV resistance,” Murray says. “One component in the surfaces is recycled rubber products, so Plexitrac systems are also environmentally friendly.”
Paul Harris is Mid-Atlantic Area manager for California Sport Surfaces, which supplies CAS with Plexitrac. Harris says the versatility and variety of Plexitrac products are helpful to contractors.
“We can provide contractors with reliable solutions and a variety of options to satisfy even the most creative and demanding customers,” he says.
And job site challenges are nothing new for Murray and his team.
“They have worked on some very difficult sites, including rooftops,” Harris says. “Lee’s standards of quality and eye for detail make him an exceptional contractor.”
He continues, “We have had a long standing and fruitful relationship with CAS that has been beneficial to both parties. This type of partnership is what we would consider the ideal in our industry. The comfort level allows California Products and CAS to confidently pursue some very interesting, albeit atypical and challenging, situations.”
Competition Athletic Surfaces builds, resurfaces and repairs tennis courts, running tracks, turf fields, courts and indoor sports surfaces throughout the southeastern United States, www.competitionathleticsurfaces.com.