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Chesapeake, Ironton get ODNR grants

Two schools in Lawrence County have received money from a grant program from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

On Tuesday Ironton and Chesapeake schools each were awarded $150,000 from the ODNR scrap tire grant program.

“This is the first for our county,” said Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District. “I am elated. This is unheard of to receive two of these in your district.”

The money will be used to purchase scrapped rubber that will be used in the athletic complexes at both schools. Currently Chesapeake is building a new athletic complex and has been unable to use its former track for the past two seasons.

There are three versions of the material that can be used, according to Chet Chaney of the ODNR.

There is running track material where melted ground tire rubber is injected into the asphalt process. There is a rubber base for soccer, baseball and football fields that is ground chipped rubber. And there is filling material that goes into Astroturf.

“What that does for athletes is it is a safety factor allowing for when they do fall, it is not as hard and it prevents injury,” Chaney said.

Last fall the Chesapeake Board of Education voted to build a new football and soccer field and track. The grant will go toward making that a reality.

“I would like to thank the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for giving us the opportunity to apply for the scrap tire grant,” Dr. Scott Howard, Chesapeake Superintendent, said.

Working on the proposal took four to five months, Howard said.

“It was one of the best proposals that I have seen,” he said. “We are also pleased we are using recycled materials that helps out everybody. We are excited to move forward with our athletic complex.”

Involved in the creating the Ironton grant application were Kim Thomas and Greg Cronacher, track coaches, Athletic Director Mark LaFon and School Superintendent Dean Nance.

“When the grant was written, it was to cover multiple projects that we had planned over the next several years,” Nance said. “This is going to enable us to do some of those projects sooner. We can use the recycled rubber for resurfacing the track. Our track was at the point that if it was not resurfaced in the next year, we were probably going to have to replace the base because of age.”

The recycled material will also go to the sand in-field and warning tracks for the baseball and softball fields.