Bayou View gets new track at no cost to city thanks to PTA

It took the school PTA only about a month to raise $19,000 to pave the track and to pay for other incidentals.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:47 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A valuable public amenity has been created without using public money.

Bayou View Elementary in Gulfport officially opened its new walkway on its grounds thanks to the Parent Teacher Association.

The new asphalt oval pathway may not be an Olympic track, but it can serve as inspiration for children as well as the community here. And, for the ribbon cutting, they brought in a little star power.

The honor went to fourth-grader Charlotte Hengen, who raised the most money during the campaign. Among those assisting was gold-medal Olympian and Gulfport High track coach Brittney Reese.

“Right now, you know, with society kids are playing a lot of video games and things like that,” Reese said. “So, anytime we have an opportunity to get tracks paved and get kids outside moving more, it’s a win-win for all of us.”

It took the school PTA only about a month to raise $19,000 to pave the track and to pay for other incidentals. And it will be well used.

“Coach Cook uses this for P.E. Our Bayou View running club uses it. Our marathon kids run it,” said PTA Secretary Beth Thomas. “It also means fewer skinned knees for our kids, which is wonderful. It’s just going to be used for generations to come. I mean this track will easily last for about 20 years.”

The fundraising effort began in early spring.

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