From Joe LaFleur, on behalf of the Patterson Mill PTSA, Athletic Booster Club and concerned parents:
On Monday evening June 14 the Harford County Board of Education is again being requested to approve a $74,900 capital projects expenditure to modify the physical education and running track at Patterson Mill High School. The same recommendation originally presented. The wrong track was originally installed – a quarter mile track rather than a 400 meter track, the national standard for over 30 years. You can’t dream up this mistake. Many people continue to believe the HCPS reconstruction approach is wrong. Patterson Mill High School parents have found alternatives for the changes proposed by the schools system facilities office. The following letter (next paragraph) and position paper were sent to the Board Members and Superintendent Tomback. Also provided is information on the National Federation Standard.
Since the last School Board meeting representatives of the Patterson Mill PTSA and the Athletic Booster Club met with HCPS personnel Mr. Cornell Brown and Mr. Ken Zorback and Site Resources Inc. the site design company. Attached is a 3 page paper of facts now coming to light. It contains better options for the track reconstruction and serious legal questions concerning the authorization and payment of taxpayer funds for the original track. A number of involved parents requested I forward this to you prior to your next meeting so you had more information to use in giving direction to HCPS, formulating a resolution and taking a vote.
We have learned even more information that the Board was not told. For example (see the paper):
The Board was not informed that the existing PMHS track has a full regulation (42″ unmarked) 7th lane already existing around the track. Adequate space exists outside of lane 7 to accommodate a full regulation 42″ 8th lane.
Importantly, the Board was not informed in the HCPS decision information paper request for the $74,900, that the remedy HCPS staff is presenting is to repaint the track with 8 lanes but with only 36” wide lanes. The national high school standard regulation lane for runners is 42” and hurdle width is 42” (criteria attached).
A. HCPS inappropriately accepted the work that did not meet design specifications. Have personnel and legal actions have been taken concerning this issue?
B. Were HCPS, County or State procurement and payment standards violated in making a deal accepting sub-standard work with public funds?
C. Why is the Board being requested to approve a $74,900 expenditure when a cost sharing agreement was still in discussion between HCPS and Site Resources, Inc.?
D. Why is HCPS considering paying any amount at all for the corrections of the track installation?
E. Exactly what portion or percentage of the corrections is HCPS currently contemplating paying for in the track corrections?
F. HCPS has recently built several new tracks below the national standard. Why aren’t the Superintendent and HCPS operations office recommending installing the Patterson Mill track to the national standard?
What is the action the Board is requested to direct HCPS to take:
Install a regulation compliant, 8 lane, 400M 42”/lane track by using the current project and amending the current contractors bid proposal and adding one lane around the outside of the track.
It is clear that the Board, and perhaps not the Superintendent either, was provided full information about the track reconstruction and there has been incomplete disclosure on the nature of this transaction. We are asking for your support and vote to install a nationally recognized regulation 400 meter 8 lane track with 42″ lanes in the reconstruction project at Patterson Mill High School and to follow-up on the issues involved (see paper and recommendations).
On behalf of the PTSA, Athletic Booster Club and concerned parents, thank you,
Position paper sent to the Board Members and Superintendent Tomback:
Information on the National Federation Standard: