Work on a synthetic turf field funded by the Bethesda Soccer Club began this month at Wootton High School in Rockville, a move the Club says will allow more than 5,000 hours of use a year by the school and the community.
Crews are tearing up the grass on the field, which because of muddy conditions and other limits was used only by Wootton High School athletic teams.
The Club, which has 40 boys and girls teams of various ages and hosts camps and clinics, raised $1 million toward a conversion of the grass field into FieldTurf, the synthetic turf surface now becoming common on amateur fields and professional stadiums across the country.
Construction of the new field should be complete by this fall. Bethesda Soccer Club got a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the charitable arm of the U.S. Soccer Federation, to help pay for the conversion. The Wootton High School Booster Club raised another $200,000.
The partnership, approved by the county’s Board of Education, will allow Bethesda Soccer Club and other community groups to use the field year-round. Before, it saw about 300 hours of use a year, according to a press release from Bethesda Soccer Club. The project had the support of Wootton High School Principal Michael Duran.
“Bethesda is so happy to be able to give back to the community that we’ve lived in and played in for so long. So many people from so many organizations stepped up to help make this dream happen and we are really appreciative of that,” Bethesda Soccer Club Board Member Bruce Pitts said. “The school, the community, and our club all are all so excited to have access such a high quality facility.”