Grant Approved to Install Turf Fields at Older Schools
FREDERICK, Md. –Frederick County has been allocated $10 million in additional school construction funding, one of only six counties in Maryland to have funding set aside for their specific projects. The pass-through grants are made available through the Maryland General Assembly’s Built to Learn Act. Frederick County has been approved to use a portion of its grant to install turf fields at Brunswick, Catoctin, Tuscarora and Walkersville High Schools next summer. Once the four fields are upgraded, every high school in the County will have at least one turf field. Installation of the four turf field will cost approximately $7.8 million. The remaining $2.2 million will be applied toward the completion of Thurmont Elementary School’s limited renovation project.
“We were able to seize this opportunity because we had projects lined up ready to go,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “The grant allows us to address the equity issue by ensuring all our high school have turf fields. We can be proud that Frederick County is a leader in Maryland for school construction.”
The Built to Learn Act, which legislators passed in 2020, has sped up the collection of State funds for several school construction projects in Frederick County, including Waverley Elementary School, which opened this past August. Three additional projects were able to begin sooner than originally planned. They include Brunswick Elementary School, which will open next year, followed by Valley Elementary School in Jefferson and Green Valley Elementary School in Monrovia.
To qualify for pass-through grant funding, projects must be selected by the local county government, according to the parameters set by the State Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC). The IAC approved Frederick County’s grant project Thursday morning. Next the projects will come before the Board of Education for approval, and the grants must be accepted by the County Council.
Artificial turf fields provide a consistent surface for athletic events, long-term durability, excellent performance in inclement weather, less ongoing maintenance, and more frequent use by community groups. The pass-through grant provides a new source of funding so that Frederick County can advance these four projects in the current budget year.