HOUSTON – Community members are upset over a project that’s supposed to renovate the football field at Jack Yates High School in honor of George Floyd.
The community said hundreds of thousands of dollars were donated by the Houston Texans, a congresswoman and several others, but 18 months later, there are no recognizable changes.
During a meeting held Tuesday, several community members and Jack Yates alumni said part of the project is installing a new turf field, which has not been done.
Vaughn Dickerson said he and other community members advocated for the field to be renamed the George Perry Floyd Jr. Athletic Community Field after the murder of Floyd.
“We did everything,” Dickerson, who grew up with Floyd, said. “From freshman football to varsity basketball, every day, every night, I’m either at his house or he’s at my mother’s home.”
But the project, which was supposed to unite the Third Ward community, is now causing division.
“For the last couple of months, it just seems like there was no movement,” Jack Yates High School alumnus Gerry Monroe said.
Dickerson’s foundation, 88 Chump, Jack Yates Alumni Association and Houston Society for Change, partnered to give the field a makeover. The group secured a donated field from the Houston Texans, which was valued at more than $1 million.
Now, they just need the money to install the field. The campus was awarded a $250,000 grant from the NFL, and a $200,0000 thousand matching grant from the Texans for the installation of the field. However, part of the matching grant agreement is using Hellas Construction to install the field, which costs around $880,000, meaning $500,000 more would need to be raised.
“Just recently going to the meeting a few days ago, you learn more about aspects of this grant that hasn’t been communicated,” said Quintin Smith, a Jack Yates High School alumnus and former NFL player.
Carl Davis with the Houston Society For Change said they did provide the information.
“We have created a one page that has been distributed around the community to the alumni and the principal to make them aware of what we have,” Davis said.
He said they received a $100,000 commitment from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and around $35,000 from businesses and community partners.
“Some people probably didn’t get the message out to them and we apologize and take full responsibility. But right now, the main concern is that we are about $300,000 short of making this dream a reality,” Davis said.
KPRC 2 spoke with Floyd’s sister Latonya and she said the family has come together to pitch in for the field.
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