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District, soccer club reach agreement on fields

July 10, 2019 Cranberry Local News


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An agreement between the Mars Area School District and Mars Area Soccer Club for use of these fields adjacent to the Middle School was extended Tuesday. The soccer club will donate more than $50,000 to the district through the installation of a new drainage system at the fields.

ADAMS TWP — An extended agreement between the Mars Area School District and the Mars Area Soccer Club will bring a new drainage system to the district's soccer fields.

During a school board meeting July 2, the board approved an addendum to an agreement between the two entities. According to school board President Dayle Ferguson, that agreement allows the soccer club to use the soccer fields adjacent to the Middle School during designated times to run the program. She said the first year of the 10-year agreement was recently completed.

The addendum approved Tuesday extends the agreement until November 2039.

Ferguson said the agreement does not restrict the district's use of the fields in any way.

“It does ensure that the soccer club has those windows of times to run their program,” she said, adding that the agreement contains a one-year notice if the district needs the space for another use. “It's best use is as fields, and as the district continues to grow and expands its program offerings, the plan is to keep them as fields. But sometimes, life happens and the district needs to maintain that flexibility.”

In return, the soccer club will donate more than $50,000 to the district through the installation of a new drainage system at the fields.

Aaron Wollerton, soccer club president, said the organization is still considering the type of drainage system that will not only work best at the fields, but also be the most efficient to install.

The agreement was also adjusted to grant an extension past an Aug. 4 deadline to have the work completed. Wollerton said with recent wet weather, there is concern that damage could be done to the waterlogged area during the installation process.

The two sides agreed to look at ways to install drainage in the upper field first before moving on to the other areas. Superintendent Wesley Shipley said the district can manage a short delay.

“We actually can be flexible,” he said. “While we do need to get on them, we can cordon off certain areas where work is being done and still have plenty of room. I think it's a workable solution.”

Ferguson added the club will work with the district to make sure runoff from the project is handled appropriately.

“This is a win-win for everybody,” she said.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.