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South Lakes HS Will Get Turf Fields

School hopes to break ground on two artificial turf fields May 20.

South Lakes High School is finalizing the timeline for installing two artificial turf fields at the school and hopes to break ground May 20, says director of activities Linda Jones.

The school received a $175,000 grant from Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS), which will enable South Lakes and community partners to build the stadium turf field.

The Fairfax County Park Authority will contribute $1.1 million from last November's $65 million Park Authority Bond to build the community field (located in between South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School).

"Once the stadium field was financed by the community groups, the Park Authority said that it will build the community field with lights," said Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie. 

The expected total cost for the fields is about $1.4 million.

Also contributing to the project are Reston Association ($50,000), Reston Youth Association  ($25,000), Reston Soccer Association ($250,000), South Lakes High School 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.

The community partners will get priority access for field use. The parties are currently finalizing a memorandum of understanding outlining usage.

RA CEO Milton Matthews said last year - when South Lakes unsucessfully bid for the community grant and RA suggested donating $100,000 to the effort - that the RA money will come mainly from fees paid to the association by non residents. The $50,000 contribution was approved by the RA board in December.

RA Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler says that turf fields would benefit the entire community. He has cited studies that show lighted turf fields get 60 percent more use because practice and games are not limited due to weather.

Fairfax County Public Schools high schools have been moving towards turf fields the last several years. Herndon High School has had them since 2010. Robinson Secondary and Centreville High School received the county grant in 2012. Oakton, Woodson and Lake Braddock will also receive county grants this year to get turf fields built.

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.

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Jeremy Lee February 15, 2013 at 04:12 PM
The fields will become a center piece of our community. These turf fields will provide safer practice/game surfaces during bad weather.
Michael February 15, 2013 at 04:50 PM
It sounds like both RA and RCC are planning to use a form of commuter tax to pay for their share: they will use outsiders' higher fees to pay for their contribution, and then discriminate against those same outsiders in registration for programs they conduct on the fields. If anybody should be upset about this, it's not the RA members or District 5 residents who will benefit from this arrangement - by getting their share paid for at someone else's expense.
Mykle Lyons February 15, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Please! These fields have never been even close to safe or adequate and our community uses them non stop. We are fortunate if this is all it will cost. I say finally money well spent.
Thalia Lee-Quigley February 15, 2013 at 06:49 PM
I for one am glad to see the fields installed. SLHS looses revenue year end and year out because we have to switch fields with the opposing school with turf every time it rains too much. I have grandchildren who are/were part of RYA and SLHS sports and I'm glad to see that they don't have to practice by car headlight anymore.
John Farrell February 16, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Ms. Ramon Exactly what current RCC or RA programs require an artificial turf field?

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