AMHERST — A fundraising campaign to raise at least $2 million for a completely rebuilt and rerouted track at Amherst Regional High School is set to begin in earnest in the coming weeks.

The campaign, undertaken by the Hurricane Boosters, begins in the wake of Amherst officials’ recent pledge to provide Community Preservation Act funds for the $4.7 million project.

At its June 2 meeting, the CPA committee voted unanimously to spend $800,000 from the account to be allocated to the preferred and most expensive option for athletics and interior ground. The project will include replacing the deteriorated track, installing an indoor artificial turf playing field and making various accessibility improvements. The Hurricane Boosters aim to complete fundraising early next year.

“This plan gives them a chance, the community a chance, to raise funds,” said deputy city manager David Ziomek, who added that the boosters were “eager to go” and awaiting approval from the city. CPA money. Without APC’s support, the funding gap would otherwise be too large, Ziomek said.

“They are very committed,” Ziomek said.

At least $2 million must be raised by Jan. 16 for the preferred project to come to fruition and for the regional school board to greenlight construction. Along with fundraising, another source of funding could be grants and the possible use of federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Amherst is the first of four towns that make up the region, which also includes Leverett, Shutesbury and Pelham, to agree to contribute a portion of a total of $1.2 million from the towns’ CPA accounts, money that is levied in addition to property tax. invoices. Leverett is asked to provide $109,560, Pelham $65,520 and Shutesbury $83,520.

The four cities have already approved a capital loan of $1.5 million for the project.

If there isn’t enough money, school officials will opt for a less expensive back-up plan that only rebuilds the track.

APC committee members said they were committing the money, subject to city council approval, because the project meets a long-term need.

Ziomek said the project would be transformational for a resource in poor condition. “It’s a generational project,” Ziomek said.

“The need on the track is really quite significant,” Douglas Slaughter said, noting that the school hasn’t held a home meet since 2018.

CPA committee member Andrew MacDougall, who is also a women’s lacrosse coach, said four women’s lacrosse games have been postponed this spring due to poor conditions on the turf field at the track.

“Being able to have an even field, which is lit, would impact six to eight sports in the spring and another four in the fall,” MacDougall said.

The Amherst Regional School Board will have until mid-January 2023 to determine if there is enough money for the full-scale plan. If the money is available, design work will take place and a contractor will be sought for the work, which will likely take place in 2024.

The $4.7 million cost estimate is for a six-lane, while building an eight-lane would cost an additional $150,000, said chief financial officer Sean Mangano.

Ziomek said he anticipates the fundraisers will be for an eight-lane track.

Two additional tracks could generate more revenue for the school district and the city, Slaughter said, because the track could host many more regional events.