JCPS Alumni Group Announces Support for Urban League Complex

Manual Class of ’76 pledges $10,000, challenges others to buy seats in complex

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February 10, 2020 — A Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) alumni association is donating $10,000 to the Louisville Urban League sports and learning center, and challenging other alumni associations to contribute to the initiative by purchasing seats in the complex.

The duPont Manual High School Alumni Association, Class of 1976, today announced its pledge to the Norton Sports Health Athletics & Learning Complex, an indoor-outdoor track and field center with seating for 4,000 being developed by the Louisville Urban League, a local non-profit organization. 

“I’m so proud of the JCPS alumni who are stepping up to the plate and contributing to a lasting and worthy project such as this,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.  “Long after these graduates have left school, they are showing their commitment to this community and its young people by making sports and learning opportunities available to all our students and families.”

The complex will also include a learning lab, entertainment space with a miniature bowling alley and an interactive rock climbing wall, community green space and outdoor event space.  Louisville Urban League officials say the facility will also host services and community events like mobile health clinics, dental clinics and financial counseling.  

Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, pointed to a study done by the Women’s Sports Foundation that found, among foundational sports, students who run track have the highest grades, lowest truancy and highest likelihood of attending college. “We know there is no silver bullet, but with one fell swoop we can impact students’ lives, clean up dirty land and improve economic development in our city,” Reynolds said. “This is a no-brainer, and I am thankful to the Manual High School Association, Class of 1976, for stepping up in this way.  Transformational change takes all of us.”

“As a Manual alum, I know firsthand what an impact this sports and learning center will have on our community, and I am excited about the potential economic development opportunities it will bring to West Louisville,” said Charles Henderson, a member of the duPont Manual Class of ‘76.  “We're proud to support this initiative and hope that other alumni groups and any JCPS alumni will accept this challenge and support this project.”

“I continue to tell folks this is a true win/win situation,” said Tim Holman, head cross country coach for Manual.  “It fosters sustainable economic development in an historically disadvantaged part of Louisville and provides the entire running community with a desperately needed resource.”

Michael Morgan, a member of Manual’s cross country team, agreed. “The possibilities and benefits that come with the complex are endless – from year-round training to a versatile indoor event space that will create opportunities for youth like never before.”

The 24-acre property in Russell near Shawnee and Portland is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.