Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has been granted $250,000 by the Indianapolis Colts through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program to install synthetic turf fields at Crispus Attucks High School.
The $250,000 grant from the Colts, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 431 football fields nationwide since 1998.
During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $61.8 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
“Indianapolis Public Schools is thrilled and honored to have been selected to receive the NFL Grassroots Grant for field improvements at Crispus Attucks High School. Athletics is a critical piece of the student experience and investing in that experience is a priority for our district,” said Darren Thomas, Director of Athletics, Indianapolis Public Schools. “Attucks is a school with a rich history right in the heart of our city, and this grant will help us continue to build on that legacy with support toward a project that will provide more opportunities for our students and community to engage in impactful programming at a safe, high-quality facility on school grounds.”
This marks the 12th Indianapolis field that will have been improved. Previous fields include Douglas Park (1999), Gustafson Park (2003), Ben Davis High School Football Field (2004), Lutheran High School Football Field (2005), Christian Park (2006), Evans Football Field (2007), George Washington Community High School (2008), The Legacy Recreation Center/Arsenal Tech High School (2009), Central Greens Field (2013), Decatur Central Devere Fair Stadium (2019), and Sean Cowdrey Health & Wellness Complex Athletic Field/Phalen Leadership Academies (awarded in 2022, to be completed in summer 2023).
“Crispus Attucks High School is one of the most historic and important schools in our state, and it also happens to have one of the best and most well-known high school athletic traditions anywhere,” said Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay. “We are so honored to be a small part of that tradition by building this new, state-of-the-art playing field that the entire Attucks family can use to stay active and healthy and connect with friends, neighbors, and community.”
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance, and programming of the fields.
“Athletic fields can help transform neighborhoods by offering opportunities for recreation, education and relaxation that contribute to quality of life. This investment also signifies more than improving an athletic field, it is deepening the impact of a school and community that has historically been disinvested,” said Dr. David Hampton, LISC Indianapolis Executive Director. “Our partnership with the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL Foundation is a substantial example of channeling capital in a comprehensive, equitable and impactful way.”