Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo
repair the Sullivan West track
Sunk SW Track Facility
By Frank Rizzo
JEFFERSONVILLE August 15, 2000 Ralph
Tremper of Youngsville, a retired civil engineer with the
state Department of Transportation, has a more than
passing interest in the Community Athletic Complex at the
Jeff-Youngsville campus of the Sullivan West Central
After all, its was Tremper and then-Jeff-Youngsville
Superintendent Al Larson who were instrumental in drawing
the vision of the future athletic fields in the late
In a speech he gave last fall at the Athletic Fields
dedication, Larson had the following words of praise for
Tremper: Trained, experienced, and licensed as a
State Engineer, Mr. Tremper donated his knowledge,
drawings, and untold hours of fieldwork that enabled the
other team members to do the rest of the work. Mr.
Tremper designed the drawings for the new parking lots,
the removal of Behnken Hill, the new road, the softball
and football fields, the track, future baseball field,
and soccer field with its own adjoining parking
So Tremper is understandably upset over what happened at
the eight-lane track, in many ways the centerpiece of the
new complex and the only eight-lane facility in the
(As such, it can theoretically host the state track
championship meet and this spring was in fact slated to
be the site of the last Western Sullivan League track and
field championship event.)
However, before the Sullivan West track team had a chance
to host even one meet, a sinkhole formed, and effectively
rendered the second through fourth lanes unusable.
The team wound up doing little more than limited
practices on the all-weather rubberized surface oval.
Dave Franskevicz, the athletic director at the
Jeff-Youngsville campus, would only say that it has
been frustrating and disappointing.
Last week, Ballard Construction of Syracuse, the
subcontractor, spend two days repairing a large, deep
rectangular area, preparing the surface for repaving.
We finally came to terms with the contractor,
Sullivan West Superintendent Mike Johndrow said,
referring to Southwest Industries of Texas.
Southwest which owns the patent to
astroturf is responsible for the
Everything up to that level was prepared by Ballard
By the end of this week, or the beginning of next week,
Johndrow should have on his desk a report by engineering
consultants. They were hired to determine why the soil
settled beneath the track, causing it to develop the
The report will lay the blame, if any, and will determine
who will be liable for the cost of repairs.
Johndrow declined to name a cost figure.
The track will be fixed, and all the construction
will be completed, Johndrow emphasized. And
[construction] wont tie up the soccer and football
Its been a major frustration, [losing] a
whole track season. I feel bad because so many
[volunteers] were involved in building the [athletic
complex], Johndrow commented.
On Friday: Ballard responds.