The Brookhaven City Council voted May 8 to spend $300,000 to pay for a new artificial turf field at Ashford Elementary School field.
The Ashford Park Elementary School Foundation will be contributing $150,000 it has raised through such popular fundraisers as the Brookhaven Bolt toward the new field.
As part of the city agreeing to spend the money on the school owned by the DeKalb County School District, the two entities entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the school district.
The IGA gives the city access to the new field at the school during weekends and other non-school times for a total of 190 days a year. During these designated days, the city will use the area as green space for open recreational play.
The DeKalb County Board of Education approved the IGA with Brookhaven on April 16. The city will be responsible for repairing the field while the school system will repair stormwater drainage issues.
The vote was a rare 3-1 split with Councilmember Linley Jones voting no, saying she could not support spending city money on a field that she said she be paid for by the DeKalb County School District.
“I cannot justify the city having to step up and pay for something the school board should be paying for,” she said.
The other council members praised the private-public partnership between the city and the school’s foundation in paying for the new field.
Councilmember John Park said he supported spending the money because residents live in a community, not just a city, and public-private partnerships such as these benefit the community.
Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed within seven months.