The Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls today held a grand opening ceremony for a $150,000 multi-sport complex on the campus of Browning Elementary School and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center in Milwaukee’s Westlawn neighborhood.
The project was initially announced in May and construction had been ongoing in the months since the announcement. September 7 was the first chance Browning Elementary School students had to play in the new space, which includes six basketball courts, one futsal court, a soccer field and additional recreation space, all contained within a 200-meter track.
“The impact goes beyond District 2 and will be felt by the entire city,” said Alderman Cavalier Johnson. “I am grateful that the Milwaukee Bucks are demonstrating that their commitment to our community goes far beyond the cranes in the sky downtown, and Johnson Controls continues to be a valued corporate citizen in our community.”
The complex, which has Bucks and Johnson Controls branding, has been configured to allow flexibility for use of other sports, such as volleyball and tennis, and will be well lit to provide a safe space for recreation during evening hours.
“This new neighborhood amenity will provide youth with healthy programming throughout the week, and it will improve quality of life in Milwaukee’s Choice Neighborhood,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “This community investment has helped to make the project a reality.”
Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO George Oliver and Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Grady Crosby, Bucks President Peter Feigin and Bucks Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Alicia Dupies were joined by more than 100 Browning Elementary School students at the grand opening.
“This space is something that we imagine will be used for years and years to come,” said Dupies. “Perhaps the most important aspect is that we know that sports of all types can directly contribute to positive youth development. The programming that will be provided by both Playworks and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center will ensure that children are engaged in active learning and have opportunities for skill building and to foster cultural competence and healthy and safe play. With literally hundreds of kids in the Westlawn area, coupled with those who attend Browning Elementary and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, we are thrilled to know that the play that will take place here will be enhanced through supportive relationships and programming.”
This new complex is a part of a larger commitment from the Bucks and Johnson Controls that includes an annual gift of $60,000 for the next 10 years towards community programming. In the first three years, two annual grants of $30,000 each will be given to Playworks to fund programming at Browning Elementary, as well as the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, which will provide after-hours and weekend programming at the new complex.
“We are excited about the grand opening of the multipurpose court because it elevates the neighborhood around it,” said Crosby. “But we are even more excited about the years of programming that the Bucks and Johnson Controls are funding. We recognize that coaching and mentoring have the potential to be transformative. We are not investing in a playground. We are investing in the youth of this neighborhood. For more than a year, Johnson Controls has had a special focus of engagement with this neighborhood. This multi-sport complex is our latest project, but we have invested more than a million dollars in the last 15 months in 21 non-profits with programs serving Havenwoods, Westlawn Gardens and Thurston Woods neighborhoods. This investment will continue. Our goal is to make a measurable impact on the trajectory of lives in the neighborhood.”
These grants will ensure that the complex features proven programming designed to maximize the value of the space for the surrounding community.
“The students served at Browning Elementary School, the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, and the residents of the greater neighborhood are appreciative of this wonderful opportunity that will benefit Milwaukee’s youth and young adults,” added Alderman Johnson.
Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee Bucks, and Office of the Mayor of Milwaukee