Agreement reached for use of Skyline fields

July 27, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Issaquah School Board members voted unanimously to approve a newly negotiated agreement with the city of Sammamish for use of Skyline High School’s turf athletic fields.

The agreement extends district use of the fields for athletic purposes by a half-hour during the school year, or until 5:30 p.m. during fall and spring athletic seasons and until 5 p.m. during the winter athletic season.

The prior agreement, signed in 2004, allowed the fields to be used for district purposes until 5 and 4:30 p.m., respectively. After, city officials scheduled other use of the fields until 9 p.m.

City officials can schedule the fields for community use at 5:45 p.m., in fall and spring, and at 5:15 p.m., in winter. Scheduled use of the field will still end at 9 p.m.

The agreement comes after district and city officials had trouble compromising on new terms, deemed necessary by district officials, because more than 500 freshmen will be added to Skyline at the beginning of the school year, Aug. 31. Those students will need additional time on the fields.

The addition of freshmen to the school is part of a district plan that has been more than three years in the making. The plan redistributes student populations at each of the elementary and secondary school buildings to alleviate crowding at some — particularly those in Sammamish.

At a June 15 Sammamish City Council meeting, district Chief Executive of Finance and Operations Jacob Kuper asked council members to extend the district’s use of the fields by an hour and leave the lights on an hour later for the community, but council members refused to concede.

Council members cited their obligation to residents neighboring the turf fields, to keep them from intrusive lighting, which could have stayed on until 10 p.m. had the hour extension been agreed upon. They also said they didn’t want to lose time on the fields for the community, since the city had installed the lights and turf at a cost of $2.4 million.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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