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SLHS, Partners Will Press On With Turf Quest

South Lakes not chosen for $175K community grant, but funding for two synthetic turf fields likely to be there anyway.

South Lakes High School was not chosen as a receipent of a $175,000 Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) Grant to build a synthetic turf field, but proponents are hoping the project will move forward anyway.

The community partners involved donating money for the project have been eyeing spring construction for the two fields to be put into use by next fall's sports season. South Lakes principal Bruce Butler said he was uncertain whether this would disrupt or delay the timetable.

"We did not receive the grant because the proffer component was not fully finalized in time," said Butler, referring to additional funds the project is slated to receive from a developer proffer. We are still moving forward with the project and I am confident that with the continued support of our greater community in time we will make this project a reality for the community of Reston."

South Lakes was one of four schools vying for the grant. Robinson Secondary and Centreville High School were selected.

The expected cost to build two synthetic fields at South Lakes - one on the football field and the other on a field in between South Lakes and- is around $1.4 million.

The project has already received commitments from ($100,000), Reston Soccer Association ($250,000),  South Lakes' discretionary funds ($30,000), Reston Community Center ($100,000). The school's athletic boosters group said it will pay $15,000 annually to the reserve and replacement fund.

There is a good chance the project can move forward with the cost deficit made up by the developer's proffer.

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.

RA Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler said last month that the project would likely begin if it had $650,000 in place by spring.

The stadium field would be built by the community partners (RA, RCC, Reston Soccer Association and the SLHS boosters), said Larry Butler, who is South Lakes principal Bruce Butler's brother.

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 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.
To read about the county's synthetic fields, click here.

To read about the county's synthetic fields, click here. To read the county's policy on allocating field time to community partners, click here.

Skip Endale February 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I like that word - INSANITY - it has a nice ring to it.
Skip Endale February 17, 2012 at 02:05 AM
I personally challenge SLHS school officials to rethink their plans concerning synthetic turf. Not a day goes by without the public hearing about jobs being shipped overseas. Not a day goes by without our school children hearing about green energy, conservation and global warming. Given these trends why not cover our football fields with a thick layer of dung and teach these kids how to garden and grow their own foods? Just recently I heard people wanted a farm co-op in Reston... why rely on someone else to provide the funding and that service? 1.4 million dollars buys a lot of farm equipment. Nuff said

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