The Stadium Restoration Project is an initiative to transform an abandoned space into one that builds capacity, encourages healthy behavior, and symbolizes the outcomes of community collaboration. My community and team view this project as a first step. With funding from the PCPP grant we will work to make the stadium a functional and more appealing space for future use. Painting and restoring the neglected walls, installing new gates, creating a basic running path from recycled bottles, and installing outdoor exercise equipment, are our four main material-based objectives. The accomplishment of these objectives will allow for my team to use the space for capacity building. Classes for teachers, students, and people of all ages and fitness levels, will aim to inspire active use of the restored space. These classes will involve inclusive fitness activities and attitudes for exercise. We ultimately want people to consider fitness as something that is possible for everyone, and as something for self care.
The community sees this project as a great opportunity to work together. Many people of different trades have already committed their skills to plan out an approach for our goals. Furthermore, there are ideas to organize community teams to handle most of the restoration’s labor. Aspects of the project that demand specific skills, like painting, will be done by community members for fees that are more competitive than if outsourced. Following this project and my departure, the community plans to continue the space’s maintenance and development.
The materials that we are using for the stadium’s restoration are of high quality, and with intention to be used far into the future. The project’s reliance on skilled workers and group labor from our community, is not only intended to reduce the cost of our project, but to increase the ownership that community members feel towards the stadium. If many people are involved, many people will be inclined to take care of and use the space.
The government has already designated the current Athletic Director to be in charge of the stadium’s future maintenance. Furthermore, the project team and official leaders from the local government, hospital, police department, and school, have all recognized that this project is a first step. They intend to continue development over time so that the stadium can be a welcoming community space for many different kinds of fitness and activity.