|A Stuart football game. [Turf Stuart photo]|
The JEB Stuart High School Athletic Boosters Club is reaching out to the broader community to help raise funds for artificial turf football and baseball fields. Turf fields cost more than $1 million to install but cost less to maintain than grass fields and are more durable in rainy weather.
The new field can be installed in summer 2015, but Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are requiring the Stuart to contribute $100,000 to the cost – $50,000 by the end of this month and $50,000 by the end of January. The campaign has raised $45,000 so far.
Last spring, Stuart athletes lost more than 100 hours of practice due to weather conditions affecting the grass fields. This continuing situation puts the teams at a great disadvantage when playing teams from schools where turf fields have already been installed, which is nearly all of the other Fairfax County high schools.
Because more than half the students who attend Stuart qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the boosters are looking for contributions beyond the parents of the current student body. “We are relying on the support of alumni, local businesses, and homeowners in our pyramid who also will gain from an improved high school and new fields for community use,” said booster club member Christy Eaton.
The boosters are asking members of the community to submit a donation online at the Turf Stuart website or send a check to JEB Stuart HS Athletic Boosters, 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church, VA 22044.