Press Editorial

July 21, 2009

By Staff

Soccer club steps up
for park improvements

Soccer club steps up for park improvements

The Issaquah Soccer Club and its 3,000-plus members have put some teeth behind their repeated requests to the city for all-weather sports fields. With a donation of $100,000 from the club, the City Council was expected to approve artificial turf for a second field at Central Park.Originally, the 2006 Park Bond Advisory Committee declined to add money for artificial turf in the city park bond, preferring instead to seek other funding options. Some of those options have panned out, including a $500,000 grant from Washington state, a $50,000 youth sports grant from King County and the $100,000 from the Issaquah Soccer Club.

With those grants in hand, the city needs another $166,000 to revamp a second field. Some of the bond money that had been designated for development of Cybil-Madeline Park along Issaquah Creek will be moved to the Central Park project. Grant money received since the bond vote for Cybil-Madeline Park will offset the transfer.

The soccer club regularly sets aside a portion of its dues for future fields. The $100,000 was collected over 10 years, according to Ed Evans, the club’s vice president of operations.

Currently, the club leases and utilizes grass fields at Lake Sammamish State Park, the county’s Klahanie Park, Tibbetts Valley Park and three middle schools. Only Issaquah, Skyline and Eastlake high schools have all-weather fields the club can use.

One turf field is about equal to three grass fields in terms of use, explains Evans, so the addition of two turf fields at Central Park is critically important. Club membership has declined recently, and Evans said he thinks the lack of year-round fields could be one reason.

With the generous donation to Central Park, the Issaquah Soccer Club has proven its dedication “to promoting the love of soccer and sportsmanship to the youth of the greater Issaquah /Sammamish area.”

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