This project started as a request to improve the track and field facility in order for the students at South Wasco County High School to have a place to practice and compete with the sports that are part of the school's programs. These programs include track and field, football, physical education and just a place to gather and play. When we do these projects it also benefits the community as a place to gather, walk on a safe and responsive surface bringing people together for their health.
We have done this before and seen the transformational impact a quality gathering place can have on a community.
Ron White and I had just finished completing a small 320 meter track at Holy Trinity School in Beaverton when I was called to see what could be done at a local high school in North Portland. Roosevelt High School in the community of St Johns was one of the most diverse ( 29 nationalities attending school at Roosevelt) and also one of the least affluent. The school district was contemplating the closure of the school where enrollment was dropping, facilities were crumbling and morale and support from parents and the district was declining.
A small group of people including alumni of this formerly prideful school of Roughriders, a nun, a school volunteer and eventually a church adopted the project as we created the vision for the St Johns Teddy Roosevelt Athletic Complex.
I saw the potential of building a world class track and field that would be the centerpiece for this community in North Portland. We started with putting in a turf field that generated excitement for the football program and the community. We followed up over the next couple years with building a world class track with the goal of having national caliber athletes from Nike and University of Portland training on the track interacting with the local school athletes.
The Roosevelt Football team drew more students to join the team, cheerleaders and youth programs wanting to be a part of this renaissance of sport in North Portland. Students that had been going to other Portland High Schools because Roosevelt's facilities were in disrepair started to return to the school bringing enrollment back up and creating a gathering place for the community.
We followed with completing the track and as we envisioned, University of Portland athletes began to train at the facility, the intersection and relationships with the school and the University began to blossom and the sports teams all began to grow. Volunteers from companies like Nike came to help with maintaining and helping the team get ready for the upcoming track seasons. The community had a beacon and gathering place and a purpose to help and engage that otherwise was not there before.
The Track team went from 12 athletes to over 120 over the past few years and the school district ended up rebuilding the school for nearly $30 million dollars.
It all started because we believed that this project could transform a community and act as a centerpiece for the St Johns neighborhood, the schools and the people that are part of it.
The vision is the same. The location is different.
We were able to do this with the intersection of talented and passionate people but taking the IncubatorU methodology and applying it to succeed.
This is a short video that was shot following the successful completion of the project that triggered other tracks in the Portland area to be rebuilt to a quality standard.
We are set up beautifully to bring this amazing project to life!
We need your help whether it is talent, treasure ( donations that to go the Maupin Area Chamber Endowment ) or time and outreach to those that love Maupin, live in Maupin or know of people that would love to come to Maupin and donate today!
Feel free to reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions I can answer for you!