Nov. 19, 2009 – A group of track officials and coaches last night toured the impressive new field house and indoor track facility at the Providence Career & Technical Academy (PCTA). The site will host not only all dual meets in the boys’ and girls’ leagues, but the Class Championships (Feb. 4-6, 2010), and the Feb. 9-10 JV State Championships.
The PCTA track will also be the new home of the State Indoor Championships. That meet is scheduled for 13 Feb. (a Saturday); a change from the customary Sunday dates when the meet was held on the URI campus. Also debuting at the new track will be the Dec. 30 R.I. Track Classic. (More on that in the future). (In addition, the R.I. Interscholastic League will hold its state wrestling championships at the new field house, as well as all playoff rounds in the boys’ basketball league. The site will also serve as Central High‘s gym).
The $23 million track facility (modeled after the one at Hillhouse High School in New Haven) was a visionary project, begun a decade ago by Providence City Councilman and longtime track coach Kevin Jackson. The facility boasts a 200-meter, six-lane flat track (with an eight-lane straight). The track is a cushiony, “Mondo’’-style rubberized surface with a common start/finish area. The shot put sector is inside the oval at the near turn, with the weight throw sector positioned beyond the outside lane. (Behind a separating curtain).
The PCTA track also includes a pit for long and triple jumps, and a pole vault area. (The high jump area is also inside the track, at the backstretch). Pole vault competition will be held as an exhibition event during dual meets, according to league officials.
The seating capacity is approximately 750, and includes a balcony. There is ample parking around the building.
The PCTA facility impressive in its own right. More importantly, for the first time it offers athletes a uniform competitive environment; from the dual meets to the State Championships. Potentially, times and distances should improve.
In short, indoor prep track and field in this state finally has a home, and it’s a beauty. Congratulations to Councilman Jackson and the city of Providence.