The petition, started by Corey Strock, was signed by 222 Mountain House residents in favor of letting the community use the all-weather track on Mustang Way in the evenings and at least one day each weekend.
A member of the Mountain House Running Club, Strock said he became concerned when the principal of the high school, Ben Fobert, told the Facilities Use Committee recently that he didn’t favor public use of the track.
“We would like access to everyone that is interested to have access to it,” Strock said on Tuesday. “I think the outcry on Facebook, people in the community are contacting their (school board) representatives and saying, “Yea, I want access too.”
Included among the signatures on the petition were a few comments. One resident wrote, “The MHHS track should be available for public use during non-school/practice hours. We have a lot of runners/joggers/walkers in the area, and the track would provide a safe place to train (particularly during peak commuter hours).”
Others posted, “If our tax dollars were used to pay for it, we should be able to use it,” and “Seriously, MH is both itty bitty and in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like we have anywhere else to go! Don’t be jerks.”
Strock said he had thought all along that the high school amenities would be available to the residents.
“I believe it should all be rentable,” he said. “We use school facilities because there are no other options. I wish we had a bunch of commercial space, a giant YMCA, but we don’t.”
No other school in the community has a running track, but the K-8 Altamont School opening in August is slated to have an asphalt track, Strock said. If the running club is denied access to the high school, it will likely try to use the elementary track.
School district leaders are now reviewing options such as placing a card reader on a community gate at the high school. Users would have to fill out an application and pay a fee for an access card.
“We’re at the research phase,” Strock said. “Even if we don’t get (access), I changed some minds. Access to the track is doable. Other communities do it.”
Mountain House High School is slated to open in August.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.