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5.2.12 Thomas S Wootton HS Rqst Fund Turf

5.2.12 Thomas S Wootton HS Rqst Fund Turf

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Published by: Magnet Mom on Nov 12, 2012
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07/10/2013

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ACTION5.2.12Office of the Superintendent of SchoolsMONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLSRockville, MarylandNovember 13, 2012MEMORANDUMTo: Members of the Board of EducationFrom: Joshua P. Starr, Superintendent of SchoolsSubject: Thomas S. Wootton High School—Request to Fund Artificial Turf Installation–Policy CNE
Background
During the summer 2012, the Department of Facilities Management was contacted about thepossibility of installing artificial turf on the stadium field at Thomas S. Wootton High School.Staff in the Department of Facilities Management evaluated the feasibility of artificial turf installation at Thomas S. Wootton High School and determined that the current grass stadiumfield can be replaced with artificial turf.Subsequently, staff publicly advertised a Request for Proposals for private organizations thatwould be interested in participating in the private/public partnership to install the artificial turf onthe Thomas S. Wootton High School stadium field. Only one proposal was received from theBethesda Soccer Club, which participated in a similar arrangement for artificial turf installation atWalter Johnson High School. The proposal includes a $900,000 contribution toward theinstallation of artificial turf at Thomas S. Wootton High School in return for approximately 900 to1,000 hours of use per year for a 10-year period.Further, the Thomas S. Wootton High School Booster Club submitted a letter of commitment toraise and contribute $200,000 toward the installation of artificial turf. These two offers total $1.1million in private contributions, which is the estimated cost to install artificial turf at Thomas S.Wootton High School. If the project cost exceeds the $1.1 million contribution amount, theshortfall can be paid through the funds collected for community use and the savings accumulatedeach year from not having to maintain the current grass field—such as grass cutting, fertilizing,over-seeding, and irrigating. It is anticipated that approximately 150 hours or more, pendingweather conditions, will be available for the community to use the artificial turf field aftercalculating hours used by the school and the Bethesda Soccer Club.
 
Members of the Board of Education 2 November 13, 2012A community meeting was held on the evening of October 22, 2012, to present the proposedproject and gather feedback from the community. Of approximately 40 people in attendance, themajority of the participants were representatives of the Thomas S. Wootton High School BoosterClub and parents who live in the community. While there was overwhelming support for theproposed project, two concerns were raised from two individuals. The first concern was related tothe timeline to complete the project by mid-August 2013, understanding the time it takes to getthe necessary permits from the City of Rockville. While the project timeline is tight, staff in theDepartment of Facilities Management will develop a detailed project schedule and determine thefinal completion date after the Board of Education has approved the project, a consultant has beenselected, and meetings are held with City of Rockville permit officials to better define the scopeof work involved.The second issue was related to the use of crumb rubber for the infield mix and a concern thatthere are harmful effects if swallowed. This issue recently was researched jointly by staff fromMontgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the Maryland-National Capital Park and PlanningCommission, the County Council, and the Montgomery County Recreation Department anddetermined that there was no data to support this concern.Following my memorandum to the Board of Education of September 28, 2012, I stronglyrecommend your approval of the artificial turf installation on the Thomas S. Wootton HighSchool stadium field. Given the shortage of playing fields available in this county and theconstant demand for use of our school fields, the artificial turf on our stadium field is a greatsolution which will provide safer playing conditions for MCPS students while allowing manyhours for the community to use our stadium fields. Further, the entire project will be fundedprivately without having an impact on our current budgets. The following resolutions arerecommended for your approval:WHEREAS, There is an interest to install artificial turf on the stadium field atThomas S. Wootton High School; andWHEREAS, There is a shortage of playing fields in Montgomery County; andWHEREAS, Artificial turf on the stadium field at Thomas S. Wootton High School will providesafer playing conditions and allow significantly more hours of use than the current grass field; andWHEREAS, Artificial turf would benefit the school and the community; andWHEREAS, In June 2012, staff in the Department of Facilities Management publicly advertisedfor Request for Proposals from private organizations for partnering on the installation and shareduse of an artificial turf field at the Thomas S. Wootton High School stadium field; and

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