Summit County turf team nears early goal |

Summit County turf team nears early goal

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” A community group looking to build the county’s first playing field with an artificial surface is only $100,000 away from its initial fundraising goal.

“We’ve raised $550,000,” said Tom Looby at a county commissioner work session Tuesday, explaining that the group plans to put out a request for proposals by the end of February and hopes to sign contracts for construction of a field by May ” if it can come up with another $100,000 by then.

“We’re looking for another $100,000 before mid-May,” Looby said. Most of the financial pledges already have been fulfilled, but Looby and the group said they hope that everyone else who promised money will deliver.

Looby said the group has secured $300,000 from the school district and local governments, $175,000 from local businesses and corporations, $50,000 from individual donations (ranging from $10 to $2,000) and $25,000 from the Summit Foundation.

“You’re to be commended. It was a big push, and you’ve done a great job,” said County Commissioner Bob French.

For now, the county won’t be stepping up with a monetary contribution, but the commissioners pledged their moral support to the undertaking and told the group to come back in early summer with a financial request.

In total, the group is looking at a $1.25 million project that would convert two fields to artificial turf, as well as a running track and bleachers.

A grant request to Great Outdoors Colorado was denied last year, but proponents of the the turf field said they’re hopeful they’ll get a favorable decision when the next round of grants are announced in mid-June.

Other options for grant funding include the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, as well as private foundations and private business interests like the Broncos and Adidas.

Along with updating the commissioners on their fundraising progress, Looby and several other turf boosters submitted a proposed inter-governmental agreement outlining collaboration between Breckenridge, Frisco and the county.

They also touted the benefits of the field, including reduced water use and enabling local teams to play more home games in spring and fall. That would keep student athletes in the classroom more by reducing the amount of time spent traveling to Denver for games, Looby said.

The agreement spells out conditions for use of the field, making it clear that it’s an amenity that will be available to the wider community, with some constraints. Those conditions were needed to secure local government contributions.

“The community at large will have access … but the high school will have first dibs when they need it,” Looby said.

Next steps for the group include getting the county and towns to approve the agreement formally and to select contractors by April to meet deadlines for the short summer construction season.

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