- Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 September 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 21 September 2011 00:00
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The King George Board of Supervisors could exercise its option to have a planned stadium become a county facility, instead of turning its operation over to the School Board when completed, expected to be sometime late in 2012.
The Board of Supervisors owns the land and the high school building and leases it to the School Board, as it does with both King George Elementary and Sealston Elementary schools. The option to offer a lease for the stadium to the School Board will be decided by
the Board of Supervisors.
That option was discussed at a meeting on Sept. 13 while supervisors were again discussing the pros and cons of synthetic turf.
That might mean that both maintenance and scheduling could be under the control of the county, which would likely be through its Parks & Recreation department.
As reported, supervisors approved a $3,576,628 construction contract with Loughridge & Co., LLC of Richmond at that meeting on a split vote of 3-2. They also budgeted an additional $190,000 for related project costs including construction administration, special inspections and testing, equipment, services fees and contingency. That brings the total investment into a new stadium to $3,766,628.
The vote was split over whether to install synthetic turf or natural grass, with Joe Grzeika and James Mullen voting against synthetic. Cedell Brooks sided with Dale Sisson and John LoBuglio for the synthetic turf.
Both sides provided sound arguments in the ongoing debate, including pros and cons having to do with injuries, practice/play in hot weather, and effects of drought and downpours, along with the additional cost for initial outlay and for long-term replacement of synthetic.
“You can debate the pros and cons till the end of time,” Grzeika said. “This would be the first artificial high school turf in the high school district, and you can debate that either way. I’m not going to. I think the decision is financial.”
Sisson said he agreed with that, countering, “I believe with synthetic turf you effectively gain another field.” Sisson suggested that supervisors could get an agreement from the School Board for broad use of the new stadium, or not turn it over to the division.
“There’s always the concept that this could be a county stadium that the county manages,” Sisson said. “That’s a route we could take if we get overly concerned about it. It could be the ‘King George County Stadium’ that the Foxes play at. That’s an option we have.”
Sisson added, “I’m not necessarily proposing that. I’m saying if it comes down to where we have agreement challenges, there are ways of working that.”
But who will operate and manage it and what teams and groups will use it will be decisions made downstream with different members on both of the boards.
Come January, there will be three new members on the School Board, since Renee Parker, Lynn Pardee and Dennis Paulsen are not seeking reelection in November.
There will also be either one or two new members on the Board of Supervisors. James Mullen is not seeking re-election in Dahlgren, and Joe Grzeika has Parker challenging him for the James Madison seat in November.