Earlier this week, Common Ground, a non-profit focusing on social issues in Southeastern Wisconsin, released the “Fair Play Report,” detailing the need of Milwaukee county public school and athletic facilities to receive the same public funding as a potential new Bradley Center.
The report is the result of the inspection completed by over 100 Common Ground volunteers of all school outdoor athletic/recreational facilities in Milwaukee County.
“There are 290 public schools in 38 separate school districts in Milwaukee County. Common Ground volunteers inspected and evaluated the athletic/recreational spaces at each of the 268 sites that serve these schools,” reads the executive summary.
“Of the 268 sites, 175 or 65 percent of them, were rated overall as Terrible, Poor or Fair by Common Ground leaders. The 65 percent does not take into account the 16 sites that do not have any outdoor athletic facilities at all.”
Only 33 school sites were listed as “excellent.”
“If public funds are used to build a new Bradley Center arena, then at least $150 million and perhaps as much as $250 million of these funds must be used to improve Milwaukee County public school athletic facilities and recreational spaces,” states the group’s executive summary of a preliminary report on the condition of local school athletic facilities.
In a press release, Common Ground quoted MPS parent and CG member Jennifer O’Hear as saying that “if the Bucks get new, upgraded athletic facilities, then our children and county residents should get new, upgraded athletic facilities. It’s only FAIR!”
Common Ground’s Fair Play campaign was launched in April in response to the National Basketball Association’s saying that the Bradley Center requires upgrades to be on par with other arenas in the nation.
“Athletics provide kids with a sense of direction, discipline and self-confidence,” said O’Hear. “Sadly, the reality is that 65 percent of our schools do not give our kids this opportunity.”
These school districts were included in the report: Brown Deer, Nicolet, Oak Creek-Franklin Joint, Cudahy, Saint Francis, Greendale South Milwaukee, Greenfield, Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and West Allis-West Milwaukee.