Residents who run or walk the track behind the Shaler Area Middle School on Mount Royal Boulevard will have to use the turnstile to access the field from now on.
The school district is locking all gates after nearly $17,000 in damage was done to track equipment. Hurdles were broken by what the coaches assumed were "kids on bikes," said James Fisher, who serves on the athletic committee for the Shaler Area school board.
"After dark," he said, "nobody really knows who's inside." In addition to the hurdles, the track surface was damaged.
"The track, technically, is not closed but the main gate is closed," Mr. Fisher said. He added that gates at other district fields now will be locked from dusk to dawn.
In addition, residents can no longer use the track during school hours. Mr. Fisher said physical education teachers have expressed concern for the safety of students during class time.
"I won't be surprised if there are repercussions, but the damage is quite a bit of money and this is the only thing to do," Mr. Fisher said.
Rita Michel, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org