9th Ward Field Of Dream Rebuilding A Community In A Green Way

When Brian Bordainick became the youngest athletic director in Louisiana’s history he didn’t realize the kind of undertaking he was about to face. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Brian completed the Teach for America program and was placed at Carver High School in New Orleans. Once he was offered the position of Athletic Director, he realized the need for a community sports stadium. Over the last year and a half, Brian has raised more than $1.4 million for the 9th Ward Field of Dreams Project. With a goal of raising $1.8 million, a new sports stadium would not only bring the community together, lower crime, increase graduation rates and college acceptance, but it would also serve as an example using energy efficient and environmental building practices.  We spoke with Brian about his 9th Ward Field of Dreams Project and what they were doing to make the stadium energy efficient and environmentally responsible.  If you are interested in donating to Brian’s campaign, please visit www.9thwardfieldofdreams.com. To see a recent talk that Brain gave please click here.

Full Transcription:

Ben Lack: A Field of Dreams in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. This is your Daily Energy Report. Hello and welcome to the Daily Energy Report for Friday, March the 26th. I’m Ben Lack, and we’re hear with Brian Bordainick, Athletic Director of Carver High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hey, Brian, how’s it going?

Brian Bordainick: I’m doing well. How about yourself?

Ben Lack: I’m doing great. Talk to us about this project is going on in the 9th Ward about the state.

Brian Bordainick: Right now, we’re trying to do is take this seven and a half acre plot of land and build a $1.8 million state-of-the-art community space. So the idea is to have a spot that the entire community can use. That will include a public running track, a football field, stadium seating and lighting, and obviously, you’ll see a free secure facility for everybody to use. And we’re hoping that this capital investment in this neighborhood which was so devastated by the storm but really be a catalyst for redevelopment here. And then also be instrumental in being a part for the revitalization of the new sports here in the city.

Ben Lack: So it’s not just for Carver High School. It’s really going to be for the entire community. Is that correct?

Brian Bordainick: It will be the first public field and track in the entire city of New Orleans which is really awesome, and why we’re really excited to be working we are right now.

Ben Lack: And talk to us real briefly about the types of organizations that have gotten involved with the project.

Brian Bordainick: We work real closely with the New Orleans Saints, the National Football League. We work real closely with the New Orleans Rotary Clubs, Marshall Faulk, Drew Brees, have been big supporters and obviously, rooted here in New Orleans. And actually, we’ve really managed to galvanize the community. We raised almost a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in hundred dollar increments from people who can actually become a part of this project. So what we do is we offer bricks which we’re selling for a hundred dollars which will be engraved with the person or the memory of someone’s name. An it will actually surround the entire field because we like to pride ourselves in being such a community-driven project, and it’s really a great opportunity for us to say to people that your hundred dollars when it adds up can be a part of this, what we like to call a walkway of hope. Everyone can really be a part of something a lot bigger than themselves.

Ben Lack: Well, you were telling me before we came on camera, the year actually involved in the building of the stadium. And so I’m interested to know what types of plans you guys have for making sure that the stadium is observing and keeping the energy consumption down. Talk to us real briefly about those building projects.

Brian Bordainick: One of the real cool things that we’re using on this facility with our lighting system is actually we using carbon neutral lighting which is from the material that they actually makes the lights out of. And they set up the lighting structure in such a way that the energy consumption is actually down, I think, like thirty or forty percent from what they normally are. And they zero it off into the community. A lot of people sometimes they put up these great community spaces. People sometimes forget that there are houses nearby. So what’s cool about our lighting structure is that it will look like daylight on the field, and then off the field it will be pretty much dark in the community. Also we’re working with Nike on their Nike Grind, when you see on the turf fields on TV when they cut, you see that black stuff pick up, a lot of time that’s tires, and you have to pay premium for that product. What we’re doing actually is our in-field system which actually be made out of old shoes.

So they have a way basically to take people’s old tennis shoes and grind up that material. We can use that for the in-field. And then also for the top three-inch layer of the track, it will also be made of that same material. So it’s really cool that your old tennis shoes, when you make a donation, to make grind will actually have a part in help building this community which is really, really, really cool.

Ben Lack: So are you guys getting close to doing some type of a groundbreaking to get the project off the ground?

Brian Bordainick: We are. This is going to be the background here. It’s going to be completely demolished in a couple of months. And right now, the school’s in design. So we wanted to make sure that we didn’t just put down the space before there was kind of a plan for the entire school. So that’s happening in the next few weeks. And then we’ll be able to apply for permitting. And once we get our permits, we can bring our construction teams and al our people who have supported us down here. We’re really looking forward to it. Of course, we’re still fundraising. We’re not quite at our goal yet. Another half million dollars would be a beautiful, beautiful thing. But it’s really amazing to watch. We’ve raised about $1.25, $1.3 million in the last year and about two or three months. So it’s been a great process to kind of bring this community together, and we’re looking forward to kind of taking that next step, getting a shovel into the ground, and obviously, closing out our fundraising gap.

Ben Lack: Well, we wish you the best of luck. Tell our audience where they can go to to donate for the stadium.

Brian Bordainick: Sure. Well, here’s the pitch. I guess I should take my glasses off. You can go to the 9thwardfieldofdreams.com, and you can purchase your bricks there.  And also find out a lot more information about our projects, see some of the videos that we’ve made and things like that. So check out the website and please get involved. It’s a really awesome project.

Ben Lack: Well, Brian, thanks so much for your time.

Brian Bordainick: Thank you.

Ben Lack: We wish you the best of luck, and we look forward to coming back to see the stadium in its final form.

Brian Bordainick: And when we turn the lights on, we’ll make sure we get you guys out here.

Ben Lack: Fantastic. Thanks so much.

Brian Bordainick: Thank you.

Ben Lack: Well, this is Ben Lack with the Daily Energy Report. We hope  you guys have a great weekend. We’ll be in Dallas, Texas next week. So definitely tune in next week to check out the latest Daily Energy Report. Have a great weekend.

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