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Grant Could Help Convert Gunston Park Field to Synthetic Turf

The County Board will consider a $370,000 plan Saturday to convert the Gunston Park diamond athletic field to synthetic turf.

The park at 1401 28th Street S. has three lighted tennis courts, a multiuse field, a lighted softball field and basketball courts.

The nonprofit Arlington Sports Foundation proposed a grant of $180,000 to convert the field, and the county sports commission’s Diamond Field Fund would pay the additional $190,000. This extra $370,000 is on top of a previously-approved $1.4 million maintenance and improvement project at the park. That project’s funding was approved in a 2014 bond referendum.

The parks and recreation department required that half of the ASF funds be deposited with the county to get the design stage underway, with phased additional payments of $45,000 each. Any unspent ASF funds will be returned to them after the project is completed and all financial obligations are met.

A county staff report said installing the synthetic turf will help the Gunston Park field be better utilized.

“The conversion of this diamond field, which is currently lighted for night play, will extend the usable seasons and times by approximately 880 hours per year, and will also be configured to allow for players of different ages, different sports, and different levels of play to utilize the field,” staff wrote.

County staff recommends the Board authorizes the funds for converting the field to synthetic turf.

Previously, the installation of synthetic turf fields has caused some controversy in Arlington, and specifically at Gunston.

Photo via Google Maps

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