Bridgewater Middle School looks to score soccer-field irrigation system

The middle school’s soccer fields are about to get a facelift, but they are in need of an irrigation system.

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  • | 10:19 p.m. April 27, 2016
  • Southwest Orange
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HORIZON WEST  Bridgewater Middle School parents and staff are looking to get their soccer-playing students back in the game with a new-and-improved home field.

The school is currently one of the few in Orange County that does not have a home field viable for playing soccer. The field can be used for physical-education class activities but cannot be used to host games. Participating students have to be driven by their parents to play games, which are often hosted at Chain of Lakes or Gotha middle schools.

“Our fields were deemed not safe to play on, I guess, so all of our soccer games we travel for,” said Bridgewater parent Heather Seward. “We never have home games. That being said, my son was on the team last year, and I found it comical that over 100 kids came and tried out, practiced and scrimmaged on the fields.” 

The issue has been addressed with the county, which has agreed the fields need fixing. The county is set to level and sod them toward the last week of May; however, it will not be providing an irrigation system for the field.

“If you’re going to level and sod them and not have irrigation, are we not just throwing money down the drain?” Seward said.

Bridgewater’s PTSO has since taken the irrigation matter into its own hands. The field only can be irrigated with reclaimed water, but the reclaimed water stops at the front of the school. Additionally, the school is only allowed to use an Orange County-approved vendor to install the irrigation system. The project is a large one — normally estimated at around $30,000 — but the school has found an approved vendor who will do the job for $17,000. However, there is a catch.

“If you’re going to level and sod them and not have irrigation, are we not just throwing money down the drain?” — Heather Seward, Bridgewater parent

“The wall we’re going up against is that the county is saying it’s leveling and sodding the last week of May, whether the irrigation is in or not,” Seward said. “We’re in a time crunch because once the sod goes down, we don’t want to be digging it back up. Everything has to happen in the next four weeks or it will never happen.”

Seward is hoping to put together some fundraisers for the project, including a dodgeball tournament, but nothing is set in stone yet. Donations can be made in the form of checks to the Bridgewater PTSO, with “soccer field” written in the memo field. Since the PTSO is a 501(c)(3) organization, it is also tax write-off for corporations.

“I know money is tight everywhere, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’re (the county) realistic and realize how good of an offer this guy is making, and how good it will be for the school,” Seward said. “In the big scheme of things, every little bit helps.”


Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].


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