MULBERRY, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers is giving a very generous grant to a high school in Polk County to help cover the costs for its new synthetic turf field.
Mulberry High School will be receiving a $250,000 grant from the Buccaneers right before the start of their upcoming football season. The funds will be used to pay for the new synthetic turf field at the school's Phosphate Bowl Stadium, Polk County Public Schools said in a news release.
The NFL Foundation Grassroots program awarded the grant to the Buccaneers as part of its mission to revitalize playing fields in schools in underserved communities.
“Our youth are the foundation of our community, and we are dedicated to strengthening the student experience throughout Tampa Bay," Tara Battiato, the Vice President of Community Impact for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said in a statement. "The Buccaneers strive to inspire the next generation on and off the field by providing resources to enhance student education, health, and overall wellness.”
To celebrate the grant received by the Buccaneers, Mulberry High will have a ribbon-cutting event on Friday before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff of the school's first football game and will feature an appearance from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Street team.
Some activities for students, staff and people involved with the school to participate in include pictures with Bucs cheerleaders and its mascot, an RV set up for playing video games and a quarterback challenge game where attendees can throw footballs at large inflatable targets, the news release mentioned.
“We are so excited that our students and the entire community can enjoy this new field and renovated stadium,” Principal Michael Young said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to our season opener and hope everyone can join us for a fun celebration.”
Polk County Public Schools says the new turf field will allow the school to have other sports be played on it and can remain effective throughout the entire year, even in the rainy season.
Another positive impact of the new field is that the natural grass used on the old field will be converted into a livestock grazing area for the agriculture program at the high school.
In total, the installation of the turf reportedly costs about $880,000.