The Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls today announced plans to build a $150,000 multi-sport complex in Milwaukee’s Westlawn neighborhood.
The multi-sport complex will be built on the campus of Browning Elementary School, 5440 N. 64th St. and the adjoining Silver Spring Neighborhood Center on the city’s northwest side.
[caption id="attachment_319468" align="alignright" width="417"] A rendering by Eppstein Uhen Architects of a new multi-sport complex that will be built on the campus of Browning Elementary School and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center in Milwaukee’s Westlawn neighborhood.[/caption]
The complex will include six basketball courts, a futsal court, a soccer field and additional recreation space. It will be encircled by a 200-meter track and will include lighting to allow it to be used in the evening.
“What you see on these renderings today is the direct result of listening to what this community wanted for their people -- that is a vibrant and safe place for people of all ages to play at all times of the day,” said Alicia Dupies, vice president of community relations for the Bucks, during the announcement at Browning Elementary.
The new complex is expected to be completed before students return to school in the fall.
“We are, in particular, interested in making sure that this neighborhood has the resources that it needs to make sure the kids here are successful,” said Grady Crosby, vice president of public affairs and chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls. “Through this gift, kids will be able to play in this space and will be able to develop athletically, but even more so than being able to develop a 3-point shot, they will be able to work and collaborate and connect with adult mentors and teams.”
The Bucks and Johnson Controls also announced plans to give $600,000 in community programming grants over the next 10 years.
The first two grant recipients are Playworks, an organization that partners with schools to develop students’ emotional and social skills, and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. Each will receive $90,000 over the next three years. The Playworks funding will go toward programming at Browning Elementary and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center donation will allow for after-hours and weekend programming at the new complex.
In March, the Bucks announced that Johnson Controls will provide an array of technology servicesfor the new arena in downtown Milwaukee as the arena's official “smart building partner."
While the new arena marks a significant investment in the city’s downtown, speakers at the announcement stressed the importance of investing in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.
“Our partners at Johnson Controls share our vision for the future of Milwaukee and our commitment to ensuring the impact of our downtown development radiates throughout the community,” said Bucks president Peter Feigin. “Helping children flourish today is integral to the well-being of our community in the future. Together, the Bucks and Johnson Controls are committed to providing a safe haven for Milwaukee youth to put them on the path towards becoming responsible and productive citizens who will continue to carry our city forward.”
During the debate over public funding for the Bucks arena, community activist group Common Ground said public funds should only used for a new arena if at least $150 million public funds were also spent to improve public school outdoor athletic and recreation facilities in Milwaukee County.