CLAYTON – Clayton High School has received a $250,000 grant from the National Football League (NFL) Foundation that will go toward the school’s athletic field improvement project.
In 2021, Clayton High School, Johnston County Public Schools, and the Town of Clayton formed a partnership with the goal of improving Clayton High’s athletic facilities while expanding access to the grounds for the Clayton community.
A proposal for a grant from the NFL Foundation – Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Grassroots Field Grant Program was submitted in May, 2021. The $250,000 grant will supplement the capital improvement project at the center of the partnership.
“Clayton High School is a cornerstone in the town and a common place of activity throughout the week and year with both school and community events,” stated Principal Dr. Bennett Jones. “We are thrilled to be able to provide high quality facilities and playing surfaces to not only our students and teams, but to our community members as well and this generous grant from the Panthers and NFL-LISC allows us to continue those efforts.”
The design of the project includes an artificial turf field in both the football and soccer stadiums at Clayton High School. Additional funds will be utilized to repair and expand the home side football bleachers and replace the existing football press box.
“Youth and high school football is an integral part of community life in the Carolinas, and we are excited to support Clayton High School’s new synthetic field project which will serve the Comets’ athletic programs, school activities and the broader Clayton community for years to come,” stated Riley Fields, director of community relations for the Carolina Panthers.
Clayton High is the 12th school in the Carolinas to receive a grant from this program, according to Fields.
“We are grateful to the Carolina Panthers and their community outreach team led by Riley Fields for their assistance in the process and to the NFL-LISC for their support in our capital improvement project,” said Jones. “I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and his leadership team, the JCPS Board of Education, Mayor Jody McLeod and the Town Council of Clayton, Clayton Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, and Johnston County Parks and Recreation Director Adrian O’Neal who were all instrumental in our grant application process and supported this unique partnership between multiple public agencies.”
The entire project is anticipated to be completed by the fall of 2022.
“Johnston County Public Schools is extremely thankful for our partnerships with our local communities, like the Town of Clayton, so that we may make projects like this happen,” said Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy. “Thank you to the NFL Foundation for this grant opportunity so that we may work to provide an excellent facility for students and families in Clayton.”