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Groundbreaking held for Adaptive Sports Complex designed to accommodate disabilities
Pictured left to right: Jamie Mount, Director of Public Communications, Ellen Shimer, Director of Early Childhood Education, Robert Sitton, School Board Trustee, Dr. Elizabeth Fagen, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kirsten Allman, Executive Director of Special Education, Heath Rushing, School Board Secretary, Angela Conrad, School Board Vice President, Nancy Morrison, School Board Trustee, and Dr. Roger Brown, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 10 for an Adaptive Sports Complex being built between Humble ISD’s new elementary and middle school, which are both under construction in The Groves. The $4.8 million complex – which features two fields specifically designed for wheelchairs and walkers – will allow children of all abilities to enjoy sports. It is being built in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Houston, the Humble ISD Education Foundation, and the school district. Major donors include Insperity, the Houston Astros Foundation, and community leaders and philanthropists Joe and Cathy Cleary.
The sports complex will also include a playground with ramps, special swings, and jungle-gym equipment for children with disabilities to climb and play alongside their siblings and friends. The playground’s tactile, visual and auditory components are designed to engage children with developmental conditions. Furthermore, a large pavilion equipped with modified hoops for basketball will also serve as a gathering place and concessions stand. Quiet rooms will be available.
“Humble ISD is excited to partner with the YMCA to establish a new and innovative outdoor facility,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “All students and families should be able to experience fun and healthy physical activities together. Inclusive environments make that possible. I am especially proud that our new elementary school will feature a playground that is specially-designed for all abilities. This is a playground that I believe will become a model for others to emulate. Humble ISD is honored to be home to such an extraordinary sports complex that will mean so much, to so many families, throughout the region.”
Funded through the YMCA, the Humble ISD Education Foundation, and other partners and sponsors, the sports complex will sit on five acres owned by the school district. Humble ISD will own, maintain and utilize the facility during the school day, and the YMCA will use the facility during the evenings and on weekends. This partnership is expected to maximize the number of children who will use the facility. There is only one other similar facility in the Houston area.
Construction on the Adaptive Sports Complex could be completed by late summer of 2017 – just in time to celebrate opening day of The Miracle League’s fall special needs baseball season – but it is dependent on the success of fund-raising efforts. To date, $4 million has been raised. To donate to the campaign, please visit: www.ymcahouston.org/sports-for-all.
Humble ISD’s new elementary school in The Groves will open in August 2017. The new middle school will open in August 2018.