Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Transforming A Neighbourhood Through A ‘Field Of Dreams’


CSX Foundation’s support in building a sports complex for Ben Franklin, means more than the creation of just a football field. It upgrades the community, provides an opportunity to train in athletics, children get recreation space, the community to celebrate their children’s graduation ceremony while putting an end to crimes that could take place in abandon fields.

Dailycsr.com – 21 December 2017 – Located in “Masonville Cove” of “Baltimore, Maryland” based Benjamin Franklin High School’s principal Chris Battaglia sees an under construction site of new urban “athletic facility” is a dream field of “safe” and “clean gathering space” for students and the people in the neighbourhood which in reality is “plagued by crime” and does not accommodate some “basics”.
In Battaglia’s words:
“We don’t have any home fields. We play our football games away. Our soccer team plays at a field about a mile up the street and has to walk through the projects to get there — and there’s a manhole cover in the middle of the field.”
Therefore, the Sr. Foundation will building a new sports’ facility in the same area, whereby marking the latest addition in the “long line of Youth Development Parks” which enters in a partnership with communities, especially the ones “at-risk”, and designs the park area for facilitating “the creation of multipurpose, synthetic-turf, low-maintenance facilities” that enables “cohesive recreational and educational experience for kids”.
The recent project will also feature “lights, a field house and a walking path” incorporated in the facility area which will be a transforming agent for Ben Franklin, whereby the latter will be transformed into “an award-winning institution with a waiting list for enrolment” which was “one of the lowest-performing schools in the area”, once called as “Dirty Ben”.
Giving a monitory helping hand, the CSX Foundation made a donation of “$2.5 million” to the above mentioned project. One of the main parts of the project plan is to provide after support to the athletes using the field as well as the facilities available in the ground. The planning of said initiative was started in the year of 2011 when the Ben Franklin was “forced” to shut itself for a new start over. While, Battaglia added that:
“Instead of closing he school they put it in turnaround status”.
In order to undertake a new beginning, the school needs to adopt a “community school model” funded by “local organizations and businesses”, as Battaglia explained that:
“A community school is the hub of the community”.
As a result, Ben Franklin incorporated childcare facilities, “a mental health clinic and a United Way Family Center” within its premise for supporting the community with “essential services”, “providing resources” and revitalising the area.
Crediting, the role of CSX for supporting the field project, Battaglia stated:
“CSX came to us and it was a little like Christmas Day in the sense that they said they would like to help with a home field. I was thinking maybe they want to buy us goals or something. Here we are five years later and we’re talking about a full-fledged athletic complex.”
Moreover, recounting the history of CSX giving “back to a community”, its Vice President of State Relations in Maryland, Brian Hammock said:
“CSX’s story is rooted in Baltimore — we’ve been operating here for more than 100 years. We’re proud to be involved in a project that will impact current students and future generations of students and families alike who will finally have a place to play and exercise in this community.”
The field is likely to be gifted to “Baltimore City Parks and Recreation department” after its completion in the year of 2018, whereby providing an address to “organized sports leagues”, recess activities, physical education training and other celebration moments like graduation, as the nearby  area harbours shipping ports, oil tanks and rail yards. Talking about the new sport facility, Battaglia added:
“It breathes life into an area that is very industrialized. It kind of brings ‘community’ back into the community. It gives people a place to gather around and do positive things.”
“I don’t know how soon we get there, but I know that we won’t ever find out if we don’t build it.”