In late March, the Bucks named Johnson Controls the franchise’s official "Smart Building" partner and the first Founding Partner of the new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center.
On Tuesday, the Bucks and Johnson Controls announced that their partnership will extend beyond the Downtown arena and out into the community, as the two local organizations revealed plans to construct a $150,000 multi-sport complex on the campus of MPS' Browning Elementary School and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center in Milwaukee’s Westlawn Neighborhood.
The facility will include six basketball courts, one futsal court, a soccer field and additional recreation space, all contained within a 200-meter track, according to a Bucks news release. The courts will be configured to allow flexibility for use of other sports, such as volleyball and tennis, and they’ll also be well lit to provide a safe space for kids during evening hours. The entire project is expected to be completed before children return to school in the fall.
In addition to the $150,000 athletic complex, the Bucks and Johnson Controls will commit an annual joint gift of $60,000 for the next 10 years, totaling up to $600,000 in funding to support youth-focused community programming. The team said the effort reflects the mutual investment of the Bucks and Johnson Controls not only to build a smart, sustainable and efficient world-class arena, but also to develop a healthier community and more vibrant city.
"Our partners at Johnson Controls share our vision for the future of Milwaukee and our commitment to ensuring the impact of our Downtown development radiates throughout the community," Bucks President Peter Feigin said in a statement. "Helping children flourish today is integral to the well-being of our community in the future.
"Together, the Bucks and Johnson Controls are committed to providing a safe haven for Milwaukee youth to put them on the path towards becoming responsible and productive citizens who will continue to carry our city forward."
For the joint annual community gift, in the first three years, two annual grants of $30,000 each will be given to Playworks, to fund programming at Browning Elementary, and to the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, to provide after-hours and weekend programming at the new complex. Together, the Bucks said, the grants will ensure the facility features proven programming designed to maximize the value of the space for the surrounding community.
"It has been a pleasure to collaborate with the Bucks, MPS and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center on this project," said Grady Crosby, vice president public affairs, chief diversity officer and president, Johnson Controls Foundation. "The plans for the court and programming were developed with strong input and excellent ideas from MPS and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, who kept the needs of the children they serve paramount.
"Johnson Controls has a particular interest in making sure that this neighborhood has the resources it needs for its young people. Through this gift, the kids who play in this space will be able to develop athletically, and they will also receive the opportunity to connect with and learn from mentors, coaches and teammates. We are investing in this multi-use court and programming because we believe it takes all of us, working together, to keep our neighborhoods strong and healthy."
"We are grateful that our good partners, the Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls, believe in the children of our community and in providing first-class opportunities for them to grow and reach their fullest potential," said MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver.
"Ensuring that all children have top-notch recreational facilities not only provides a safe outlet for young people, it also reinforces to them that they are a vital part of the future of our city and worth the investment of the time and resources that are necessary for the construction of this multi-sport complex."
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.