CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Bengals are announcing a $200,000 grant to help build a new football field for Taylor High School and the Three Rivers Local School District at its new campus in Cleves, Ohio.
Bengals players and executives will join in a ceremony at 6:40 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 before the Taylor-Lawrenceburg High game at the old Taylor football field at 36 East Harrison Ave., in North Bend.
The Bengals, the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are providing the funds for a synthetic playing surface. The field is also expected to be used for phys-ed classes, band practices and competitions, and community sports events.
The district is moving all of its students into a new combined Three Rivers Educational Campus - housing Taylor and Three Rivers Elementary – at 56 Cooper Road. School opens Sept. 9.
A “Fields of Dreams” campaign by school supporters has already raised $360,000 to cover the rest of the cost of the synthetic turf. No public funds are being used, officials said.
“We are very excited to play a role in this project,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals Executive Vice President. “Several years ago, Three Rivers Schools embarked on a bold vision and together with the Fields of Dreams campaign, they have brought to this community something special.”
“What a great day for Three Rivers! What a gift,” said Superintendent Rhonda Bohannon. “We would like to thank the NFL, the Bengals and LISC for this grant.
"When you dream big, see what can happen,” Bohannon said.
The NFL Grassroots Program - a partnership between the NFL Foundation (formerly the NFL Youth Football Fund) and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support corporation — has resulted in the construction or renovation of 170 football fields nationwide in the past decade.
The Three Rivers Field of Dreams campaign wants to build an eight-lane competitive track around the football field, with grandstands and a press box. Baseball and softball fields are also planned, said Three Rivers Communications Director Kate Fenton.
A new grass soccer field opened at the new campus in August.
The timetable for the rest of the projects depends on fundraising. The total price tag would be about $2.5 million, Fenton said.
The school district is trying to sell the three school buildings it closed in May, Fenton said. It has an offer for the middle school and hopes to close the deal by October.
That money could go to the Field of Dreams effort, she said.
Construction on the football field is expected to start by this winter or next spring, Fenton said. A completion date has not been set.