Potomac turf field vote postponed following legal action by Montgomery soccer group

Montgomery school leaders have asked county officials to postpone action on a project that would use $1.3 million in private funds for construction of a synthetic turf field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac.

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr made the request Tuesday, following legal advice to hold off on the matter while a lawsuit is pending, said Montgomery schools spokesman Dana Tofig.

Montgomery Soccer Inc., the county’s major recreational youth soccer organization, with more than 900 teams, filed suit against the school system earlier this month, claiming officials used “a flawed and unlawful process” to award the use of two stadium fields - at Churchill and Richard Montgomery high schools - “to elite clubs that serve only a limited fraction — the wealthiest — of the County’s youth.”

The complaint alleges that school officials improperly selected the Bethesda Soccer Club for the Richard Montgomery field and a joint proposal by the Bethesda Lacrosse Association and the Potomac Soccer Association for the Churchill field.

The Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee gave its go-ahead Monday, authorizing spending on the Churchill project. The full council was expected to vote Tuesday.

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.

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