Somerset Elementary Dedicates New Turf Field (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

UPDATED A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sunday for the new synthetic turf field at Somerset Elementary School. The dedication took place at the annual back to school picnic.

Katherine Coleman is the chair of the Somerset Elementary School field renovation campaign, which was carried by the Somerset Foundation. According to Coleman, Somerset is the first public elementary school in Montgomery County to get a synthetic turf field, and the first to use cork infill. She said the entire cost of the field, $550,000, was covered by private donations.

Coleman said that the school’s back field has been a problem for decades because it consisted of hard-packed dirt, which would blow up dust on dry days and would become muddy after a rainfall.

In May of 2015, the Board of Education approved a request to allow fundraising for the project to proceed. The Somerset PTA pledged $54,321 to jump start the campaign. Coleman said the first major individual pledge was from Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin, whose $25,000 leadership gift inspired others to donate.

Coleman said the campaign was named “Play it Forward,” because it benefits current and future students at the school. Parents, alumni, local leaders and several community organizations made donations to the campaign.

“We hope the successful completion of this project will inspire similar private-public partnerships at other schools to meet their specific needs,” said Coleman.

In late July, the contractor began construction and school children ran out onto the field for the first time on August 31st.

“It was an amazing moment,” wrote Coleman.

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