Jul 27, 2014
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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 HS Will Get Turf Fields

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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