Park View High School in Sterling will soon become the first high school in eastern Loudoun County to install a synthetic turf athletic field, the result of a funding partnership among the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the NFL Grassroots Field Grant program and the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder was joined by Loudoun government and school officials at a news conference at Park View High on Tuesday morning, when the field grant was formally announced.
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and the NFL Grassroots Field Grant program will each contribute $100,000 toward the $1 million project, officials said. The remaining $800,000 will be funded by the county — money that will come from a surplus fund, separate from the county’s operating budget, Loudoun public schools spokesman Wayde Byard said.
Byard said that he was initially approached by Jane Rodgers, executive director of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, after a school in another jurisdiction failed to meet the program’s grant qualifications.
School Board member Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) then set up a meeting with Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) to discuss the grant and the possibility of funding from the county, Byard said.
Park View was the only Loudoun public school that met the demographic requirements for the NFL grant program, which focuses on improving the “quality, safety and accessibility” of local football fields in low- to moderate-income areas, according to the NFL.
At Tuesday’s news conference, outgoing Loudoun County School Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III said the new field at Park View was part of a plan to install synthetic fields at all Loudoun public high schools, freeing students and community members from the limitations required to protect more delicate natural grass fields.
“This is going to provide a great opportunity for our students to participate in activities, even when the weather is not as good as it should be,” Hatrick said. “This is a very exciting day for the students who are here now and for the students who will be here in the future.”
Snyder said the Redskins were pleased to be able to contribute to a project so close to home.
“Being based in Loudoun County and loving Loudoun County the way we do . . . working together and having this opportunity for Park View is something special,” he said Tuesday. “We want to make sure you all come out and see it, because it ends up being something so dramatic and touching to the kids — and it’s all about the kids in the end.”
The field is expected to be completed by fall 2015, school officials said.