Your View: New Jefferson-Houston playing field already a boon for local area

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Your View: New Jefferson-Houston playing field already a boon for local area
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By Dino Drudi, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
On my way home from church early Sunday afternoon, I noticed a soccer game in progress on the newly constructed Jefferson-Houston School playing field, so I went across the street to watch the University of California-Berkeley play Yale University. Figuring the Yale players would firstly want to know where I got my degree and, it being a second-tier university wouldn’t let me sit with them, I made a strategic decision to sit with California-Berkeley. Luckily, the player sitting next to me has a grandfather who taught at my alma mater while I was a student there.

Yale’s goalkeeper is a young man whose impressive size reminded me of legendary Major League Soccer and United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Thornton, and his side went on to beat the Golden Bears 5-2. Members of both teams, when they found out I live nearby, commended the quality of the new artificial turf field, which their league had reserved for Sunday afternoons for their entire season. But, they explained, they had to find alternative venues until a few weeks ago because the field was not yet ready.

Next on was the University of Michigan against Virginia Tech. One of the California-Berkeley players who lingered after the final whistle pointed out his high school friend playing for Virginia Tech, who had spent a few years playing professional soccer in Europe. I left at halftime, after insisting that Michigan descend en masse on a Wolverines house across the street.

As far as I know, the neighborhood had not been formally informed that the field was now open, even though the league had reserved it several months ago before it was even completed. Nevertheless, it is heartening to know that users of this caliber so highly regard this facility. When we citizens and taxpayers bellyache about how much the Jefferson-Houston project cost, one key question we should is whether we got our money’s worth. While the ultimate test is whether our $44 million unaccredited school makes adequate yearly progress and is accredited, I’m inclined to think that, certainly as regards the recreation field, we did!

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