State board approves reimbursement for high school turf fields in Towson, redeveloped beach at Oregon Ridge

State board approves reimbursement for high school turf fields in Towson, redeveloped beach at Oregon Ridge

The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved $1.25 million in state funding to help Baltimore County pay for three complete or near-complete projects in the Towson area, including the installation of turf athletic fields at Towson High School and the G.W. Carver Center for the Arts and Technology, and a redeveloped beach area at Oregon Ridge Park.

While the projects were constructed using a combination of county and private money, the board's approval allows the state to reimburse the county for a portion of its costs because the projects qualify under the state's Program Open Space, which uses transfer tax revenue to provide jurisdictions financial and technical assistance to plan, acquire and develop recreational land and open space.

The projects address the recreational needs of the schools and community, Baltimore County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said. Turf fields "support a much more intensive level of use," and can be used during or immediately following rainy weather, unlike grass fields, according to documents submitted by the county to the state.

The new turf field at Towson High School was completed last spring a cost of $810,000 that was paid by the county, Towson High School Sports Boosters, Towson Recreation Council and the Baltimore Ravens, according to county records; the state will give Baltimore County a grant to cover $410,000 of the county's cost.

The turf field at Carver was completed in fall 2015 at a cost of $590,000 to the county, Towson Row LLC and the Towsontowne Recreation Council. Maryland will give the county $240,000 to cover its cost.

At Oregon Ridge Park, the county is replacing most of the facility's sandy beach with plantings and soil, along with building a new picnic pavilion, an additional playground area, a parking lot with 29 spaces and new asphalt paths. The cost to the county for that project is $800,000, of which the state will reimburse $600,000.

Work on the project began in September and is scheduled for completion in April, according to county records.

The Board of Public Works, which is composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, approved the Towson-area projects unanimously and without discussion, along with requests from Montgomery, Somerset, Washington, Frederick, Garrett and Prince George's counties.

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