Montgomery County schools move ahead with soccer field bids

ROCKVILLE, Maryland — A Montgomery County Council committee is staying out of the turf war over access to soccer fields at Montgomery County schools.

The council’s education committee voted to let the school system move ahead on a construction bid for a field at Winston Churchill High School while a lawsuit over access to school fields plays out.

“If it’s something that’s an overarching policy that we find as a result of the court case that needs to be changed or needs to be revisited, we can take a look at that,” Council President Craig Rice said.

Montgomery Soccer Inc. (MSI) is suing the Montgomery County Board of Education and has filed a complaint with the Maryland State Board of Education alleging the bidding process was tilted in favor of other smaller, wealthier clubs.

Doug Schuessler with MSI expressed his frustration after the council committee’s meeting Monday morning.

“I’m tired of being the organization that is constantly working within the school system in all of the communities with special needs, the communities that are economically disadvantaged,” Schuessler says adding that MSI is shut out of accessing some of the most desirable fields.

Schuessler told reporters the county Department of Recreation often asks MSI for help.

“And we always say yes, and we always deliver,” Schuessler says.

Schuessler says that should have been taken into account in the school system’s decision to award access to its fields to other groups, including the Bethesda Soccer Club.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Brian Edwards told Bethesda Magazine MSI’s claims were “without merit.”

The full Montgomery County Council will vote on the bids for construction of the turf fields on Tuesday.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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