New 'Browns' Turf to be Installed For Griffs

Browns Benevolence Benefits Buchtel
Posted on 04/25/2022
Image of Browns Football Field Groundbreaking 2022The Cleveland Browns are going to construct a new football field at Buchtel Community Learning Center. Following a special field groundbreaking ceremony today at the school, Buchtel becomes Akron Public Schools (APS) second recipient of such a gift from the team. Ellet CLC was bestowed with new turf in 2019.

“This is awesome,” said Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack. “These kids, these athletes and this community are so deserving of this, and Akron Public Schools is grateful to the Haslam and Johnson families and Browns Give Back that made us part of this initiative.”

On hand for the ceremony and groundbreaking were Haslam Sports Group Executive Vice President/Partner J.W. Johnson and Browns defensive end Chase Winovich along with local elected officials including Mayor Dan Horrigan.

"I want to thank the Cleveland Browns, the Haslam and Johnson families, and Browns Give Back for this generous contribution to our student athletes," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "Their commitment to Northeast Ohio schools, and specifically to Akron Public Schools, benefits not only the students here at Buchtel but our entire community. Superintendent Fowler Mack and I, along with all of the Akron community, are excited for the opportunities this new field will offer."

Akron Public Schools Director of Athletics Joe Vassalotti welcomes the Browns participation at Buchtel. “This will be in use constantly by both middle and high schools here, by football and soccer players. Along with the new bleachers and scoreboard, Buchtel is going to have a useful venue.”

Just prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Buchtel’s football team members were among those to get news of what had been kept a secret, before the public found out. “They were beyond thrilled,” said Buchtel Principal LaCresia Beecher. “It makes us so happy to be able to do this for them. We can’t thank the Browns enough.”

All of the new fields constructed through the program are lined for multiple sports, including but not limited to football, and serve as a resource to further engage students throughout their respective districts and programs. Given the stability of the surface and less maintenance needed compared to natural grass, the fields are also more readily available to youth and community groups.

Akron Public Schools is a partner district of the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day Network. The Stay in the Game Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages school districts across the state and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance, and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive.

A primary focus of the Browns’ field project is to offer youth educational tools through “outdoor classrooms,” which allow opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that support attendance, school engagement and overall personal growth. The site selection process prioritizes underserved communities in the inner city and other areas of need, helping promote equal access to beneficial educational resources to everyone throughout the community, no matter their race, gender or economic status.

The Browns donate all of the team’s net proceeds from items purchased in the Browns FirstEnergy Stadium Pro Shop to support Browns Give Back’s commitment to education and youth football, including to benefit educational initiatives and additional neighborhood fields projects. Work on the new field is expected to begin next month.

Image of Chomps Meeting Buchtel Football Team
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