AGUA DULCE — Under a brilliant big blue sky, the brand new all-weather track at Bud Bailey Stadium in Agua Dulce was covered with students.

Ranging from the district’s youngest to its senior class, some of the students walked while others ran. Some of the younger students even walked in a line behind their teacher.

It didn’t matter to superintendent Wayne Kelly. He was simply thrilled at the sight of the new track and the joy it was bringing to the students and the Agua Dulce community.

“This is awesome to see everyone on the track and running on it,” Kelly said. “That’s what we wanted the track for; so that our kids could get some use out of it.”

The school district opened its new track with a brief ceremony Friday morning. Work on the track began Nov. 11 and was only recently completed

The six-lane track came with a price tag of some $550,000, but it’s a major upgrade from the stadium’s old and outdated cinder track. The old track was so dusty that it kept some girls from participating in track and field, coaches said.

The new track was designed to measure 400 meters like other tracks. The old track was longer than current tracks.

Athletic director Robert Beard said Agua Dulce’s track and field program will use the track to practice, but the school isn’t planning on hosting a meet until at least next year. Beard said the program lacks some equipment like starting blocks, hurdles and more.

“For now at least, the track will allow our kids to workout on a track that is comparable to the type of track they compete on,” Kelly said.

The track is also a fixture in the community. For years, countless residents would spend their mornings and evenings walking or jogging around the track. That’s not going to change. Kelly said the new track will now provide a safer surface for the community.

“Our track is a community thing,” Kelly said. “I myself run here every morning. This is a great and safe place for the community.”

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the track Friday morning, which was attended by students and community members, Kelly reminded everyone that the only rules about using the track are “no bikes, no dogs and no cats”

The funding for the track was part of a $5 million bond passed by Agua Dulce voters. The bond also includes money for building a weightlifting pavilion by the Agua Dulce field house and a new cafeteria for the school district.

Both facilities were old and outdated, Kelly said. Some bond money is also being used to other renovations around the school district. Work on the pavilion is expected to be completed this summer. The new cafeteria should be completed by the end of November.