Contributed by Prince William County Government
On Tuesday, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted to spend $3.1 million to improve playing fields at middle schools and parks across the County.
The $3.1 million, which is part of the County’s year-end funds, will be divided to pay for a turf field with lights at Gainesville Middle School for $1 million; a turf field with lights at Saunders Middle School for $1 million; and lights at a rectangular playing field at Godwin Middle School will cost $250,000. Another $150,000 will pay for restrooms, a meeting room and storage, along with field improvements, at Fuller Heights Park. An additional $300,000 will pay for two restroom facilities and a concession stand at Veterans Memorial Park. The remaining $400,000 will pay to light a rectangular field and a baseball diamond at Long Park.
In a recent town hall meeting, residents complained of fields that were sub-standard to fields in surrounding communities and said they were often embarrassed to host tournaments at home fields. League directors and coaches also pointed out that the ability to host tournaments would bring revenue to the County as tournament participants would eat in local restaurants and stay in hotels in the county. Many of the league leaders said their organizations would be willing to share in the maintenance costs of the improved fields and facilities.
Prince William County Chairman Corey A. Stewart, who brought the proposal to the Board, said that the fields were long overdue, but the board approved improvements were just a first step. “This board action puts us on a path to help our young athletes, but we have a long way to go. We can’t stop now. The County is going to continue to grow, which will put further demand on our parks and recreation facilities. We need to keep up with this to ensure Prince William County residents enjoy the quality of life they have come to expect.”
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