Lawsuit Resolved, Turf to Replace Field at CHS


Photo by Will Hyland

The natural grass field in the stadium at CHS will be replaced by turf.

By Will Hyland, Production Editor

After nearly two years, MCPS has settled a lawsuit with Montgomery Soccer Inc, putting a plan in place for four new artificial turf fields to be installed at local schools.

The plan establishes the framework for turf fields at high schools including Walt Whitman, Albert Einstein and CHS, as well as middle school Julius West. The fields at Whitman, Einstein and Julius West will be completed by December 2017. A date has yet to be set for the completion of the field at CHS.

According to a June 30 Washington Post article, MSI’s suit states school officials led them to believe that if they increased their offers on the Richard Montgomery and Gaithersburg high schools, they would be awarded the fields. Instead MSI was only awarded Gaithersburg at an increased price and Richard Montgomery was awarded to Bethesda Soccer.

The lawsuit was settled June 30 with MSI getting the field time they wanted while MCPS got the funds to construct the fields.

According to a June 30 Bethesda Magazine article, MSI has agreed to pay $5.2 million for the construction of artificial turf fields at Whitman, Einstein and Julius West in exchange for 1,000 hours of use per year over a ten year period.

Artificial fields can be used in many more weather conditions opposed to grass fields, so the installation of one at CHS would have a major impact on the athletic events held there.

“Turf would give us flexibility with scheduling and practices that we don’t currently have,” Athletic Director Jesse Smith said. “Also, new technological advancements with the materials being used on the fields have increased field safety for athletes, which is extremely important to consider before we make any type of commitment to a change.”

Principal Joan Benz was pleased that the lawsuit had finally been resolved.

“It was not surprising [but] I am glad it has been resolved,” Benz said.

According to a June 30 Bethesda Magazine article, following the completion of these fields, approximately 10 of the 29 MCPS high schools will now have artificial turf fields.