South Lakes appeared to have everything in place to build the two fields beginning this spring. However, sources within the project say that Reston Soccer Association has balked at donating the $250,000 it pledged for the $1.4 million project.
Reston Soccer's pledge would be added to the partnership, which includes a $175,000 grant from Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services; $1.1 million from the Fairfax County Park Authority; $50,000 from Reston Association; $25,000 from Reston Youth Association (football); $30,000 from South Lakes High School discretionary funds; and $100,000 from Reston Community Center.
South Lakes High School director of student activities Linda Jones says that without Reston Soccer's contribution, getting the fields built would be "a very difficult thing to do."
"We are in scrambling mode right now," she said. "Spring break is coming up March 25, and we have to have the money in hand April 1."
Reston Soccer president Rick Uhrig did not return requests for an interview.
However a source within Reston Soccer said internal dissension is sinking the project. The source said Reston Soccer's board "never agreed" to donate $250,000, and that some of the board of directors want to take out a mortgage to fund the project.
"We don't have the money," the source said. "There are people on the board saying 'this is not smart.' This is a bloody game. We should not bankrupt the league."
Another source familiar with the project said Reston Soccer also wants more field time as part of the partners' memorandum of understanding, but the partners have not agreed to it.
The source also said it is working on getting Herndon-Reston Youth Lacrosse to buy in as a partner, which may help make up the deficit if Reston Soccer has to opt out or offer less money.
Most Fairfax County Public Schools either have recently built turf fields or are in line to get the county grants that will enable them to build turf fields. Turf fields result in more practice and game time for sports teams, who do not have to cancel due to soggy conditions.
Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie said last month that if South Lakes does not get turf this year, it will likely move to the back of the line of the grant cycle. It could be three years before they could be in the running again.
Do you have kids who play for Reston Soccer? Where do you stand on whether the group should make a big donation to the turf field effort?
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