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Monday, October 20, 2014

Help Stuart HS boosters raise funds for artificial turf fields



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.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of turf fields at Stuart,” said Athletic Boosters Club President Donna Carter. “Turf fields will bring our school grounds up to the standards of others in the county, boost school spirit, and increase academic and athletic competitiveness.” Visit the Turf Stuart website for more information.

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.

Stuart parents can also contribute to this campaign by buying a commemorative brick in honor of their student. The bricks will be used to form a Raider Patio and Walk of Fame at the new football stadium.

12 comments:

  1. Interestingly, Stuart alumni wanted to have a brief tailgate in the Stuart parking lot in the afternoon before the last football game, and both the principal and the current head of the Stuart HS Athletic Boosters came up with all sorts of reasons why that couldn't be allowed. Not exactly the best way to encourage alumni to donate to this or any other Stuart campaign.

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    1. Yes, no grilling in the school parking lot is a FCPS rule, not Stuart's so that's one reason the tailgate wouldn't work. Also, I don't believe the Alums checked w/the Boosters first to see how their free food would impact the concession stand sales that night. Every penny is going into the Turf campaign so having free food at the game was not a good idea since Boosters rely on concession stand sales.

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  2. Who are they kidding? Turf fields aren't going to "improve" ANYTHING related to Stuart. Academics? it's barely accredited; Athletics? The reason its athletics program sucks is because coaching = being someone's relative and/or an "extra check" for teachers who "pretend" to be coaches. The reason that Stuart's a revolving door? It's completely and utterly dysfunctional. If you're a Mason District parent with kids in elementary school, seriously consider your options. Your kids face an uphill battle getting into VA's better Universities ~ all public high schools are NOT created equal (Stuart's rep precedes it - even out of state. My kid's an alum - I know this from personal experience). The best view of Stuart is from a rearview mirror.

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    1. I'd question this assessment. Stuart sends kids to top state universities in Virginia every year, and I know of others who have gone on to Ivy League schools and top colleges out of state. If you went at talked to Langley parents, you'd find that they think their kids are required to have higher GPAs and SAT scores to get into schools like Virginia Tech and JMU than kids who attend other schools. It seems to be primarily a function of VA schools capping the number of kids from NoVa who will be admitted. There are state schools that are now hard to get into that would have been considered "safeties" for many of us a few decades ago. I'm not saying Stuart doesn't have challenges, but the idea that its graduates are somehow being blackballed because of the school's "rep" doesn't fly.

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    2. Actually I am a local resident and an interviewer for one of the Ivies and I have implored the principal to get the school's act together because it is hurting the students' chances. There is nothing wrong with a field, but when you have failed to provide the first priority of any school, providing a first-rate education, you cannot focus on your athletics until you do so. The principal's response to me was that the school does send students to top universities, but the fact is that the numbers are very low compared to other schools in the district. Fairfax County is one of the best school districts in the country and unfortunately JEB Stuart students are competing for the top spots among the best students, so to use football parlance, JEB Stuart needs to step up their game. Touting a few students to Ivies when your local peers are sending dozens is pretty laughable. Again everyone deserves a nice field, but you need to satisfy your priorities in order of importance. Focusing on a field when you have other more immediate needs, and rebuffing the help of an expert in this field, is not going to get you where you want to go. Get your priorities straight JEB Stuart or face the prospect of years worth of setbacks for your graduates.

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  3. Recent coverage of health/cancer concerns possibly related to artificial turf fields:
    http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/how-safe-is-the-artificial-turf-on-your-childs-sports-field-339230787933

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  4. See also http://annandaleva.blogspot.com/2012/10/concerns-raised-on-toxic-chemicals-in.html

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  5. Fairfax, go take a lesson from Washington - Lee HS. What a great place to go to school. Stuart, what a dump!

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    1. Not very classy (are you still in HS)? Anyone who knows APS is aware that Arlington has many families who will only consider Yorktown and are unwilling to send their kids to either W-L or Wakefield. And people in that area would love to have a new middle school as nice as Glasgow MS that feeds into Stuart.

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    2. Clearly you have not been to Arlington lately. Glasgow is a class act, except for the fact that they rely on the neighborhoods to pick up their litter. FFX Schools are not community friendly. If I could afford to live on Arlington I would, because there they pay attention to the tax payer and less to the riff raff. Which are you?

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  6. I'd suggest that anyone who thinks Stuart is a dump to get involved and make it better. It's community apathy that is killing the school and the students deserve better. Every great school has a great community behind it. Where are you when your neighborhood school clearly needs help - volunteer, donate, get involved. But stop complaining and take action. Nothing will change unless YOU get involved!

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  7. Check the deal the school made with the Milestone Group and gave away the funds for the rent for a cell tower. Smart negotiations could have netted long term funding to all but pay for the field instead of loosing the funds to the School System. Again a case of the business system getting something and the school getting next to nothing.

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