Thanks to former Grant High School football star, Detroit Lions player Ndamukong Suh, the long-awaited 12-year effort to install a synthetic turf field at Grant is finally underway.
Suh joined Nike officials, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith and School Board members, City Commissioner Nick Fish and Grant student athletes to break ground at the site Thursday afternoon.
Officials pledged to start construction soon with the hope the Grant Generals football team will play on the new field in the fall.
For supports with the nonprofit Friends of Grant Athletics, also at the ceremony, the road to the groundbreaking has been a long one.
The group, which solicited from corporations, neighbors and the city, also held annual Octoberfest fun runs and other events to raise money.
The group had hoped to break ground last year but postponed when the $1 million pledged wasn’t enough to start the first phase, which had been estimated to cost $1.9 million.
“A year ago, there were people who thought this would never happen,” Commissioner Fish told the crowd. He convened a meeting, he said, and those attending “made a commitment to do whatever it took to bring this project home.” Continue reading