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Article updated: 1/24/2012 5:26 AM
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Deal close for artificial turf funding at Vernon Hills High
 

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Deal close for artificial turf funding at Vernon Hills High
Libertyville-Vernon Hills officials want to team with park district to raise money
  • The Vernon Hills High School football stadium opened in 2002. A community group is raising money to replace the grass with a longer-lasting artificial material.

    Purchase Photo | The Vernon Hills High School football stadium opened in 2002. A community group is raising money to replace the grass with a longer-lasting artificial material. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2002

 

Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials are close to inking a deal with a local park district that will raise $100,000 for the installation of artificial turf at the Vernon Hills High stadium.

The Vernon Hills Park District board has approved an intergovernmental agreement with the District 128 board that calls for the park district to donate $100,000 to the project, schools Superintendent Prentiss Lea told his trustees Monday night. In exchange, the park district will get reserved time on the turf field for various athletic programs, Lea said.

"We believe it's a great agreement," Lea said.

The park board approved the deal last week, Lea said. The District 128 board will consider the proposed agreement at its February meeting.

Park district officials will attend the session to celebrate the pact, Lea said.

"We're very excited about that moving forward," Lea said.

A community group called Project Turf has been working for about a year to raise the roughly $800,000 needed to replace the stadium's grass field with artificial turf.

As of Nov. 30, the group had raised nearly $580,000 in cash or pledges, according to the most recent information at vhhscougars.org. That's nearly 73 percent of the goal.

Support has come from individuals and businesses with local ties. Organizers hope to have the full amount by the end of the school year so the turf can be installed ahead of the fall sports season, which includes football and boys soccer.

If Project Turf reaches its goal, the school district will chip in $300,000 for the project, officials have said. That's the amount officials have budgeted to spruce up the grass field this year.

The field has had the same natural playing surface since the stadium opened in 2002.

Vernon Hills High's sister school, Libertyville High, has had an artificial turf football field since 2005. A community group raised $650,000 for the project.

Lake Zurich High, Grant High in Fox Lake and Carmel Catholic High in Mundelein are among the other Lake County schools with artificial turf fields. One will be installed at Mundelein High this year.

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