Students at Woodrow Cummins Elementary School now will have a track to use for the school’s running club and physical education classes.

Principal Dayna Lewis said when physical education teacher Sarah-Catherine Orahood started the Mighty Lions Running Club — now with 130 third- and fourth-grade students — five years ago, they didn’t have anywhere to go and resorted to using the parking lot and running around the school building.

"As you can imagine, that’s not really safe," she said.

Lewis said on more than one occasion, especially with parents not knowing when the club was meeting in the afternoon, teachers have had to pull students away from cars, keeping them from getting hit on accident.

For a while now, she said, the school, alongside PTO members (parent teacher organization), have been fundraising for the track.

Thompson Construction Services out of Enola began the new addition last week at a cost of around $36,000, according to Lewis. The total, she said, came from a $15,000 grant the school received from Conway Regional Medical Center, $10,000 from a basketball fundraising event and another $10,000 acquired through construction bids.

"We’re really excited to have a safe place for our students to exercise," Lewis said.

Gary Logan, Woodrow’s assistant principal, said recent rainy weather has hindered completion.

"It might be the end of next week if we can get the water to clear up," he said.

Lewis said the project was only supposed to last two weeks.

"Rain has been a problem," she said.

Overall, Lewis said the whole school is waiting in anticipation to use the new addition, especially the 530 students who attend Woodrow Cummins.

"They’re very excited," she said. "They know it’s for them and their safety."

Logan said he thinks everyone is also thrilled for what completion represents … hardwork.

"It was an attainable goal that we’ve met," he said.

Lewis added that families that live near the school currently use the playground and will have access to the new track.

"It will be used by the community as well," she said.

Lewis said this has been a project a lot of people have put hard work into and she is glad to see it finally happening.