Ruch K-8 school unveils new track

JACKSONVILLE, Ore – A local grade school is celebrating a milestone with a brand new track largely funded by the community. $80,000 was raised for the Ruch Outdoor Community School in just over a year.

People from the Ruch community came out to see the unveiling of the new track and field. They’re calling it, the field of dreams.

“This is what happens when community comes together,” Lynda Hickey, PTO President, said.

What used to be a dirt field has transformed into a brand new track for students and community members.

“A field that was full of star thistles and dirt and mud and holes and bees,” Hickey said.

Students, staff and residents came together to celebrate a new track made possible by the Ruch community. The Medford School District says the $80,000 was largely funded by community donations, including an auction, raffle and a change jar.  The jar alone raised almost seven thousand dollars.

“It’s the community pitching in. It’s kids putting in their donations, it’s their piggy banks. It’s the community. It’s someone giving a dollar. It’s amazing and this is what happened,” Hickey said.

“It’s one thing when it’s just one source of income, but when it’s a community, it takes, it does take a village,” Ron Havniear, facilities manager, said.

A village that funded a track as well as a new grass field complete with an irrigation system. The space will be used for a variety of purposes that people are already taking advantage of.

“It’s open to the public, you know. People can, I saw people walking out here this morning and this weekend, but it’ll also be used for P.E. I’ve seen them out here doing the track already, but they’ll use the field as well,” Havniear said.

Hickey says it’s fitting that the track is made for the community because they made it all possible.

“I’m just so proud to be part of this community and what this community has done from these children and the legacy that it’s going to leave. It’s absolutely just testimony of who we are in Ruch,” Hickey said.

Right after the ceremony, students broke in the new track with a Jog-A-Thon to raise money for future projects. Next on their list? The playground.

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