Reston Association's board of directors will vote Thursday whether to pledge $50,000 to help build artificial turf fields at South Lakes High School.
This is a reduction from the $100,000 the board unanimously approved for this cause earlier this year. However, South Lakes was not chosen last spring for a $175,000 Fairfax County grant to build the field and the issue was shelved.
For nearly a year, South Lakes has been looking to build two turf fields - one at the stadium, the other on the field area between South Lakes and Langston Hughes Middle School) - at a cost of about $1.4 million.
Earlier in 2012, the project received commitments from Reston Soccer Association ($250,000), South Lakes' discretionary funds ($30,000) and Reston Community Center ($100,000). The school's athletic boosters group said it will pay $15,000 annually to the reserve and replacement fund.
RA CEO Milton Matthews said earlier this year the RA money will come mainly from fees paid to the association by non residents
When South Lakes High School was not chosen as a recipient of the $175,000 Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) Grant last spring. Former principal Bruce Butler said it was due in part to a developer proffer - set to fund more than $500,000 of the cost - that did not come through in time.
South Lakes was one of four schools vying for the grant. Robinson Secondary and Centreville High School were selected.
Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie said Tuesday the authority is ready to work with the school on getting the fields built. SLHS is invited to apply for the same grant in 2013, he said.
"The Park Authority is set to move forward with a partnership if the school gets its funding in place for the stadium field," Bouie said. "Once that is in place, the Park Authority would then partner to fund the community use field to be located where the auxiliary and practice fields are today."
Bouie added there are no other proffers in the works.
Thursday's board motion says RA staff and legal counsel "believe it would be prudent for the Board of Directors to formally reaffirm its support and monetary commitment to the project."
The motion says the community partners are in the process of reaffirming their prior commitments.
"Once the funding from all sources is approved an agreement/memorandum of understanding (MOU) will be developed for sharing field resources based
upon funding commitments of the partners," the motion reads.
The current timeline for the project is as follows, according to the document:
On Dec. 1, $100,000 was transferred from the Board of Supervisors/Neighborhood & Community Services to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for engineering costs. Later this month, the MOU between project partners will be drafted.
On Jan. 15, contributors will submit funding for the project. All contributions must be submitted/transferred to FCPS by March 15. If adequate funds are not available, the project will dissolve to the one-field model or the project will fall through and not be able to be built until the summer of 2015, RA documents said.
Reston Association Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler said previously that turf fields, which will feature lights, 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.
To keep up with all Reston news, click here to subscribe to Reston Patch's free daily newsletter.