Several philanthropic organizations said Friday they are committing $50 million to build the nation’s largest academic and athletic complex in Carson, in an effort to expand opportunities for at-risk youth in Los Angeles County.
Tiger Woods’ TGR Foundation, the United States Tennis Association, The Walt Disney Company, philanthropist Doug Kimmelman and the Karsh Family Foundation said The Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus will be a world-class, 87-acre public campus.
It will focus on high-caliber educational enrichment and athletic programs to help young people fulfill their full potential in the classroom and on the court or playing field, the organizations stated.
“The need to invest in the futures of underserved kids has never felt more urgent,” Woods said. “We have a unique opportunity to do something impactful right now that will create lasting positive change for generations.”
The TGR Foundation and the USTA Foundation will oversee youth programming, which will be made available at little or no cost to low-income families.
The project is already designed and approved for development by the County Board of Supervisors under a long-term lease of $100 a year.
“From the moment I heard about this project, I was proud to embrace the bold vision and help bring it to fruition,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Now more than ever, our young people need and deserve the investment in their future that this monumental project represents.”
The new complex will offer science, technology, engineering and math after-school and enrichment programs overseen by the TGR Foundation that will complement the curriculum at the area’s public schools.
The USTA Foundation stated it will make the campus the regional hub of its flagship National Junior Tennis & Learning program, which will provide low-cost or no-cost athletic development, wellness, academic and scholarship programs to local youth.
The campus will also serve as the headquarters for the USTA Southern California section, which will provide additional tennis programming in the form of junior and adult tournaments, college tennis as well as wheelchair and adaptive tennis.
“There is an urgent need for resources to support kids and help them thrive, and this project delivers at a scale that will have a transformative impact throughout the region,” said Chris Evert, a former world No. 1 tennis player and president of the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors. “I am eager to deepen our commitment in Los Angeles to bringing tennis and education together to change lives.”
Construction on the initial phase of the project, estimated at $65 million, is slated to begin by the end of the year and will include a 25,000-square-foot learning center and expansive tennis facility with 40 courts, with additional athletic facilities to follow, the organizations stated.
This leaves a $15 million gap for the first phase, and subsequent phases will cost $60 million, and the organizations said they plan to hold fundraising campaigns next year.
Carol Kimmelman, the facility’s namesake, taught at Raymond Avenue Elementary School, across the street from the flashpoint of the 1992 civil unrest in South Los Angeles, according to the organizations. She was also a member of the 1983 national champion University of Southern California’s women’s tennis team and believed in the power of tennis and other sports to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds.
“At a time when we’re having an important national conversation about deep-seated inequities and a history of under-investment in communities of color, we have a project that is ready to give underserved children the quality education, resources and opportunities they need to prepare for college and life,” said Doug Kimmelman, Carol’s widower.
Doug Kimmelman is spearheading the effort in honor of his late wife, who passed away three years ago from ovarian cancer, according to the Kimmelman Family Foundation.