Reston Association's board of directors last week unanimously voted to contribute $100,000 to the quest to bring synthetic turf athletic fields to South Lakes High School, putting the project one step closer to being a reality.
The price tag for the two turf fields (one at the stadium, the other on the field area between South Lakes and Langston Hughes Middle School) is expected to be $1.4 million.
At RA's regular board meeting Thursday, Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler presented to the board a list of other community contributors.
The largest part will be paid for by a builder's proffer and a $175,000 Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) Grant. Reston Soccer Association will give $250,000 to the cause.
The proffer comes from a previous deal put in place when Arrowbrook Centre was built off of Centreville Road in Herndon. The proffer was to build Arrowbrook Park - the turf soccer facility nearby the mixed-used development - and an additional turf field somewhere else in the Hunter Mill District, says Bill Bouie, Chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board. Bouie said the proffer was for up to $1.3 million.
South Lakes is one of four FCPS high schools applying for the NCS grant. Centreville, Robinson and McLean are also seeking the grant money. A deciscion is expected by Feb. 15, Bouie said.
South Lakes High School has pledged $30,000 from discretionary funds, says Principal Bruce Butler.
"The monies we are committing come from school based funds -gate receipts, contributions, monopole disbursements," said Bruce Butler, who is Larry Butler's brother. "No appropriated funds (county tax based funds) can be used for the project."
The school's athletic boosters group said it will pay $15,000 annually to the reserve and replacement fund. Reston Community Center has also offered $100,000.
RA CEO Milton Matthews said the RA money will come mainly from fees paid to the association by non residents.
With all this in place, the project will likely have the $650,000 it needs for construction to start. Ideally, construction would begin this spring and the fields would be ready for use at the start of the 2012-13 school year, both Bouie and Larry Butler said.
The stadium field would be built by the community partners (RA, RCC, Reston Soccer Association and the SLHS boosters), said Larry Butler. The proffer money and grant money would go for what is being called the community field, which would also have lights. He added the project is saving money by condensing the design and engineering costs of building two fields at once.
Larry Butler said in his presentation to RA that turf fields would benefit the entire community. He cited studies that show lighted turf fields get 60 percent more use because practice and games are not limited due to weather.