JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s an 11 million dollar gift years in the making, and now it’s one the school is officially unwrapping.
“There is without a doubt a sense of awe when you walk in the door,” said Jackson Public School Superintendent, Jeff Beal.
From the 60-yard field striped for football, baseball and softball, built with a shock pad to reduce the chance of concussion, to track space, an advanced lighting system, and a weight room. Beal says every detail here was put in place to make it accessible to everyone.
“This isn’t about just football players. This isn’t about just athletes. This is a classroom first and so our strength and conditioning classes are in here every day.”
This space is fully funded by Jackson HS alum Al Glick, his family and his foundation. Glick passed away earlier this year, but he worked side-by-side with the school to make this place a reality. It’s something Beal says came from Glick’s love of this school and it’s students.
“He said lets do something special for the children and will this make a difference? And will this be something that everybody can access? Will this be something that raises up all of Jackson Public schools? And that was our answer. Our answer was absolutely,” Beal said.
The school says this is much more than a building. It was built with specific programming in mind. That’s why the district hired two employees to oversee the space, including Strength and Conditioning trainer, Crystal Brinker. She’ll help with everything from training to nutrition, both during the day and after school. Brinker says she’s already seen the excitement from students.
“It gives them a huge sense of pride, a huge sense of this is something we need to take care of. This is something that we’re going to come in here and work really really hard,” said Brinker.
Beal says the school will forever be grateful to the Glick family for this space.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity. Not just for our students today but really for generations to come.”