Bengals, NFL step up to improve local school's facilities

Bengals, NFL step up to improve Deer Park Junior/Senior High School's facilities (WKRC)

DEER PARK, Ohio (Perry Schaible) - A local high school is improving its game thanks to a big donation from the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL Foundation.

We're nearing the end of the school year and summer break is upon us.

When students at Deer Park Junior/Senior School come back in the fall they will notice some changes. A groundbreaking was held on May 16 at the school.

Those changes will include a new football field with artificial turf, new goal posts, and new asphalt. The school officially begins the project Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m.

The school district has raised more than $700,000 for the improvements. 200,000 of that has come from a grant provided by the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL Foundation.

The money is the latest donation in an ongoing program in which the Bengals have teamed up with the NFL to give $1.5 million to local schools for new fields.

"We think it's a great place to give back to the community and give these kids an opportunity and place to play their sports and be active and enjoy themselves," said Katie Blackburn, Bengals Executive Vice-President.

The school district started fundraising in September to match the grant.

Deer Park Superintendent Jeff Langdon said, "I'm so proud that so much of this money came from right here in Deer Park and a lot of the money also came from outside of Deer Park from local corporations as well. So this was just a true grass roots effort to bring this to our student athletes."

"I think it's going to boost our motivation because we're getting a new field," says student Max Schilling. "Hopefully we'll have a different mindset and we'll play a lot better than past seasons and hopefully we can have a few winning seasons and keep that streak going".

In the last three years, the Bengals and the NFL Foundation have given nearly $300,000 to local schools and organizations.

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