“If you build it, they will come.”
That is what Foothills Elementary, 13165 W. Ohio Ave., is hoping will be the case with it’s new Field of Dreams project, which just received a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
The field was one of 18 projects statewide to earn money from the grant, which is funded by the Colorado Lottery.
The project will cost around $450,000 and the grant is for $338,090.
“This project is a coalition between a large group of people — churches, business leaders, the school district and our two council members (Adam Paul and David Wiechman),” Foothills principal Susan Borzych said. “We want to improve the fields and make it an athletic complex.”
The Lakewood Pastor group that helped is made up of pastors from 16 different churches, and is led by Reg Cox, from Lakewood Church of Christ.
Borzych said that the fields haven’t been updated in almost in several decades and are in sad shape.
In addition to the fields being rebuilt, there will also be a resurfacing project done on the nearby playgrounds and fencing, benches and landscaping will all be installed.
According to Carole Carr, an educator at the school and volunteer on the project, the efforts to get the fields up and running began around two years ago, and it was the partnerships the school formed that helped the project move forward.
“We had to raise $148,000 before we could apply for the grant,” Borzych said. “We had local and community fundraisers for the project, and the school district contributed as well.”
This is the second time the school applied for the grant, according to Borzych, and she described it as an intense and competitive process.
“The application was around 20 pages, and we consulted with experts and did a lot of research,” she said. “We also had people from Lakewood help who had applied for this before.”
Now that the school has the entire amount required, it can move forward with the project.
The next steps include finalizing the plans and contracts, and hiring a landscape contractor. Borzych said the plan is to have all this work done by the time the ground thaws in the spring, so work can begin.
“The idea was to bring the whole community together and collaborate. We’re planning on doing a big groundbreaking when it all gets done,” Carr said. “It will be fun to watch the work progress over the summer. We’re hoping that it will be ready by the start of the next school year.”
For more information, and how to donate, go to www.foothillsfieldofdreams.com.