Students at Rosedell Elementary School now have a new, safe track to run on, thanks to an Eagle Scout Project completed by Saugus High School senior Gage Smith.
As a former Rosedell student, Smith knew he wanted to give back to his former elementary school.
“I knew going in that I wanted to do it for a school and my first idea was to go to Rosedell since I went there and I know some teachers there,” Smith said. “That was my first choice and then if nothing else worked out I could help another school in the district.”
But after meeting with the school’s administration, he found out that the school was in desperate need of a new track for its students to run and play on.
“Our running track—very well-used by our students—was deemed unsafe by our Risk and Safety Management. It had a lot of potholes, a lot of worn, a lot of use,” Rosedell Elementary School Principal Kathy Stendel said at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting honoring Smith. “So we came up with a huge project for him.”
Smith thought the project was a perfect fit for him since he remembered when the track was installed and enjoyed playing on it during his time at Rosedell.
“I was there when they put it [the track] in,” Smith said. “It was something they really needed and something I used and had been involved with and saw the creation of, so I had good memories of it.”
Throughout the summer, Smith planned and organized the refurbishing of the running track by gathering materials and volunteers for the project.
“I worked a lot mid-July and the actually project itself was the beginning of August,” Smith said. “There was one big Saturday when I had 50 volunteers and the next Saturday about 15 to 20 to finish up some stuff.”
Together, the crews worked to remove overgrown areas, replace cracked granite and install new materials to make the track usable again.
“They spent over four and a half hours going through the track breaking it, kneading it, laying out new gravel and making it safe and smooth for all of our Rosedell children to use,” Stendel said.
Altogether, Smith said the project took about 200 man-hours to complete.
For Smith the project was worth it because it made a difference not only for the students, but also for the teachers and administration.
“I went to an assembly a few months ago at school and talked to some kids. They were grateful that it was fixed and kind of reluctant because they have to run on it again, but still happy,” Smith said. “A lot of the teachers were happy too because it’s part of their school.”
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