Titans, Mayor Cooper announce $15M donation for Nashville high school athletic programs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville’s public high schools received a welcome surprise on Wednesday.
Mayor John Cooper announced all of them will get new sports fields.
Each of the 15 Metro Nashville Public Schools high school will split $15 million, all of which will see significant improvements to their athletic fields.
East Nashville High football players can start counting down the days they from grass to turf.
“It lets the kids know, ‘Hey, we care about you guys. We want to invest in you as well,” East Nashville football coach Jamaal Stewart said.
A new field at East is just one of $15 million worth of new athletic fields pledged for all of the Nashville’s district-run high schools.
The news, first reported on NBC’s Today Show, brought anchor Craig Melvin to town on Tuesday.
“Kids who play high school football should feel good about where they play and shouldn’t play one Friday night in a multi-million-dollar stadium and then go home the next Friday and play on your home turf and it’s like they haven’t invested a dime in 20 years. That’s not fair,” Melvin said.
The Tennessee Titans are donating $5 million for the project with the rest coming from Metro Government and private donors.
“You would not have gotten this done unless you had an NFL team,” Melvin said.
For Cooper, this had long been a goal, investing more than just the classroom.
“It’s all important and we’re not turning our backs on kids just because it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon,” Cooper said. “Twenty-five years ago, I don’t know if you would say Nashville is a football town. Now, Nashville is a football town.”
As for the timeline on this project, Cooper said Wednesday he expects the improvements to be made over the next four years.
Each district-run high school will receive $1 million toward the building of a new athletic field or otherwise improving athletic facilities based on each school’s specific needs.
The Titans are donating $5 million to the program, in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and their ONE Community initiative. This agreement with MNPS includes a commitment to the Academies of Nashville, which is a college preparatory program for students but will also provide career experience at Nissan Stadium.
“We are so grateful to the Titans for the huge investment they’re making in our students and schools,” Metro Nashville Public Schools Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said in a statement. “The ONE Community partnership will have a positive long-term impact on our students as they prepare for college and career opportunities in academics, athletics and other areas, giving them another great springboard to success.”
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