New track would bolster Viera High, community as well


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Matt Susin hopes that the new track at Viera High School will become a gathering point for area runners.

Viera Voice photo

A new rubberized track surface at Hawks Stadium at Viera High School could be the start of making Viera the center of athletic achievement, both for VHS students and community runners, said Brevard County School Board member Matt Susin.

The Back the Track goal is to raise $300,000 — for which nearly half already has been raised — to install a state-of- the-art surface that could become a draw for district wide and regional and off-season meets, he said. Soft-surface tracks are designed for durability and low maintenance, including being resistant to weather.

“We want to turn Viera into a leader in the athletics and the track world. Ultimately, Viera needs to lead the state and in order to do that we have to give our kids the best athletic facilities around and that includes rubberizing the track. We want to be able to brag about this facility,’’
he said.

For the community, when not in use by VHS, the track could benefit the health of all ages by providing a place whether they are running, walking or exercising.  Susin has a vision of the completed project, with the track lit for early fitness enthusiasts and at night for runners to use after work.

“One of the big goals of the Back The Track initiative is to have the new track open to the community,’’ he said.

Spearheading a variety of fundraising activities is Viera Pizza owner Mike Acosta and Brittany Struefert, through their Power of Pizza Charities. The nonprofit organization has so far raised $50,000 to be matched by the school board, with total donations at press time totaling about $125,000, Susin said. The goal is to have the track project finished for next track season, he said.

“Once we go all in, we’re going to make this thing happen. We’ve gotten an overwhelming response so far,’’ he said.

Back The Track will host a fundraiser with special appearances by local mascots from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 11 at Viera High School. About a dozen mascots have signed up, including Viera Pizza’s mascot Joey Pepperoni, Pucker Pickle Juice’s mascot Pucker, Space Coast Runners’ mascot Drago the Dragon and Viera Voice's mascot ViVo the Sand Hill crane.

For a $5 donation, attendees can take photographs and get autographs.

For more information, go to VHSbackthetrack.com.