Last Tuesday saw the completion of a long-awaited project spearheaded by Satellite head coach, Doug Butler. The program, after over a year's worth of work and advocacy, saw the first time the newly finished Satellite Scorpions track.
The new Beynon 100 track replaced the old one ─ a replacement that was long overdue. The original track was a six-lane asphalt track that was in poor condition ─ beyond repair, in fact. When ideas were proposed about updating the facility, Brevard County Public Schools officials said that they would pay for the tearing up of the old asphalt and some fences, as well as the laying down of new asphalt and cement curbing on both the inside and outside of the track. If they [Satellite] ]wanted to expand and place rubber down over the new asphalt, it would be up to the program to raise the funds.
"When I met with the county facility superintendent, I told him I did not want to curb six lanes of new asphalt," Butler said. "I told him I would raise the money to go to eight lanes and add rubber."
June of 2017 saw the removal of the old asphalt track, as well as the accommodations made in order to expand the track two more lanes. It was seven months prior, however, that the real work began.
In the preceding fall, the distance booster club at Satellite came together and decided to come out swinging with the fundraising efforts.
"We approached the two cities of Satellite Beach and Indian Harbour Beach," Butler said. "The City manager of Satellite [Courtney Barker] and the city council were all behind us and donated 30K plus yearly maintenance money."
With the backing of the city, a GoFundMe page, Facebook page, and Paypal account were set up to receive the funds. Satellite Principal, Mark Elliott, as well as several parents and businesses ─ many of whom contributed large donations ─ got on board with the project.
13 months later, $165,000 was raised for the project and Satellite had itself all of the necessities for a new track.
Fast forward to February 1 and all of the hard work ─ the fundraising, the long days and nights and the construction ─ has paid off because Satellite High School now has a new track and one they can be proud of.
"The community was huge," Butler said. "Without them, this would not happen."
The teams ran their first workout to test out the new surface on Monday, and, according to Butler, they were "on Cloud 9."
The Grand Opening of the track will take place on Mar. 2. The ceremony will commence with a ribbon cutting, scheduled to take place at 12:30 p.m. This will also officially open the track for competition, as after the cutting of the ribbon, the Satellite Invitational will take place. 18 school are scheduled to compete.
Once open, the track will be open to the surrounding community twice a week, including on Saturday and Sunday.
"This was huge and consumed my life the past year," Butler said. "But, every bit of it was worth it."
Below are the list of donors credited to making this possible: