Monday, June 2, 2014

County Committed to Replacing Artificial Turf at Churchill HS at No Cost to Churchill Parents #backroomdeal

On June 3, 2014, the Montgomery County Board of Education will vote to approve a secret deal to put an artificial turf football field at Churchill High School.  You remember Churchill High School, the one that loved their natural grass field?  
The neighbors to this high school have no clue what is about to happen to their neighborhood. They haven't been told that the stadium usage will increase dramatically and increase traffic, noise, lighting etc... The field will be locked up and neighborhood use will be ended at this public field.  According to this e-mail neighbors are not the "appropriate parties." to discuss this "deal."

The President of the Churchill High School Booster Club has posted an e-mail to a neighborhood listserv to "allay the concerns."  In that e-mail we learn that when the Churchill artificial turf football field needs to be replaced it will be replaced by "the no cost to Churchill."  Where is that little nugget written down? 

In response to the recent emails re the turf field at Churchill, I thought I would share an email of the facts of the ongoing year+ long process from the Churchill Booster Club President.  Many parties have been working on this issue with Montgomery County athletics for the last couple of years:   
To allay the concerns expressed in your email, please consider the following, which reflects what actually is going on: During the 2013-2014 school year, a partnership made up of three parties -- Bethesda Lacrosse Association, Potomac Soccer Association and Churchill's own Booster Club -- responded to an RFP issued by Montgomery County to replace the current grass field in Churchill's football stadium with a turf field.   
Approval of that partnership's response is scheduled to be voted on by the Board of Education on June 3.  If approved,  Churchill will get a turf field that will be at least 80% funded by Bethesda Lacrosse and Potomac Soccer.  In return for their funding, BLA and PSA collectively will get 1000 hours of field use during times when  Churchill athletic teams are not using the field.  The specific hours of usage will be determined following a Board of Education vote in favor of the partnership's proposal. 
Assuming a favorable vote, the Churchill Athletic Department will work with PSA and BLA to determine a schedule that satisfies each constituent's interests.   As for your reference to maintenance costs, the partnership, along with CHS's Athletic Department, has taken into account the amount of savings that Churchill will realize by having a turf field rather than a grass field, and the savings are substantial and significant.   
Moreover, after eight to ten years, well within the anticipated life span of a turf field, the County will replace the field at no cost to Churchill.   Despite what the CJMS Wall may have inaccurately conveyed, the installation of a turf field has been seriously considered and studied by the appropriate parties who have determined that approval of the partnership's proposal is clearly in  Churchill's  best interests.  The next step to enable the anticipated results to become a reality is the school board's approval of the partnerships' proposal on June 3.  

– Larry Tannenbaum – WCHS Booster Club President

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