EUCLID, Ohio — Two new community basketball courts will open at Bluestone Elementary in the City of Euclid Wednesday. The idea for the Bluestone basketball courts all started back in 2018 as a way to get youth outside and involved in the community while also cutting down on crime.
“These basketball courts are really much more than the physical infrastructure that has been built now in the city of Euclid,” said Allison Lukacsy-Love. “It's about community building and creating mentorship programs and just providing really positive opportunities for the youth in the community.
COVID-19 slowed the process down a bit but the hoops finally went up a couple of weeks ago.
The project was funded by several grants with the help of Euclid residents, the Euclid City Schools and the Cuyhaoga County Board of Health. Leaders went door to door asking residents what kind of neighborhood improvements could help get more people engaged.
Wednesday’s grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m. includes a dunk contest, free hot dogs from Simon's Market and giveaways from the Police Athletic League.
City leaders will also be at the grand opening to talk about what kind of structure activities or programs they can now create at the courts, like rec leagues.
When choosing the location of the courts, the city chose a well-known approach from an association called “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,” putting the courts near an elementary school, playground and daycare.
The association’s research finds natural, clear surveillance in an open community area helps reduce crime. Youth who participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to have better grades and a higher self-esteem.
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