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March 17, 2009 NEW FACILITY: Marymount, County Ink Deal on Joint Field Use

County Board members on March 14 agreed to partner with Marymount University for construction and use of a soccer and lacrosse field at Long Bridge Park (North Tract).

University officials will obtain annual use of the synthetic-turf field for about 500 hours per year, or about 25 percent of its total availability, in exchange for $2 million in construction costs and some ongoing maintenance costs.

The agreement marks the first major public-private partnership for the Long Bridge Park site, which is located north of Crystal City. Construction on the field is slated to begin this year, and the field is expected to be available for use beginning in 2011.

The field will be one of four of its size planned for the park.

Marymount officials, whose main campus in North Arlington is constrained in size, hailed the agreement.

"We're very excited about this project, and believe it is a mutually beneficial partnership," said Chris Domes, the university's vice president for enrollment and student services. "Marymount has long needed a permanent home field for our soccer and lacrosse teams . . . at the same time, the community will benefit by also having use of this additional field."

Under the partnership arrangement, the university will pay $500,000 at the start of construction and an additional $500,000 by the end of this year. It will make payments of $166,000 per year through 2014, and a final payment of $170,000 in 2015. University officials also will share the cost of maintenance; the university's share is expected to come to about $14,000 per year at the beginning. University and county officials will split the cost of replacing the synthetic turf when replacement is needed.

The agreement runs for 15 years.

In addition to provide facilities for soccer and lacrosse teams to play and practice, the agreement also allows Marymount to conduct summer sports camps at Long Bridge Park.