Ravens and Bisciotti Foundation Donate $20 Million to Transform Hilton Recreation Center

| January 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore press release: 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMB) today announced it has received a $20 million commitment from the Baltimore Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation to create the Baltimore Ravens Boys & Girls Club at Hilton Recreation Center. The transformational donation will allow Boys & Girls Clubs to significantly expand services and transform the existing Hilton Recreation Center. The Baltimore Ravens Boys & Girls Club builds upon Torrey and Chanel Smith’s commitment to West Baltimore and LEVEL82’s work to reopen the previously shuttered Hilton Recreation Center located at 2950 Phelps Lane. To take the project to the next level, the Ravens and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore are partnering with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Green Street Academy, and the community to complete a comprehensive renovation resulting in a space where hundreds of children ages 6-18 will participate daily in youth development programs.

Plans for the Club include a multi-purpose athletic field with sports lighting, a teen center, activity and games spaces, tutoring spaces, and indoor/outdoor community gathering spaces. BGCMB will provide youth programs that focus on academic success, character and leadership development, the arts, health and wellness, sports and recreation and workforce readiness. BGCMB will also coordinate additional nonprofit program partners to provide services in the renovated Club.

With the leadership of the Ravens, BGCMB, LEVEL82, Green Street Academy, and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks have worked alongside Whiting Turner and Design Collective to bring an inspiring vision to life. BGCMB is working to support the long-term sustainability of the Club and endow specific programs at the site.  BGCMB is seeking to raise additional funds, with a goal of $10 Million to supplement the catalytic gift of the Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation. Construction is expected to begin in late 2023 and be completed by the end of 2024.

Jeff Breslin, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore said: “This marks an amazing day for the children and families of Baltimore. Thanks to the Ravens, Steve and Renee Bisciotti, the City of Baltimore and all our dedicated partners, not only will we create, but we will sustain, a state-of-the-art place where kids and teens can learn, play, and ultimately reach their full potential in a safe and healthy environment. We deeply appreciate the Ravens’ commitment and the ongoing support of community leaders who are helping bring this opportunity to fruition.”

Sashi Brown, President of the Baltimore Ravens added: “Making a significant impact on our community has been a top priority of the Ravens since the team’s inception. We appreciate Steve and Renee Bisciotti for their overwhelming generosity and thank Dick Cass for his guidance and leadership that helped us set the standard over many years. Football is a true team sport, and similarly it takes a team to make something of this magnitude become a reality. Torrey Smith and LEVEL82, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Green Street Academy, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore make a formidable team that remains focused on delivering this magnificent project to our community.”

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott stated: “This is a remarkable example of how a public-private partnership can work together to change a community.  On behalf of our Recreation & Parks department, I want to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work.  Our young people need support, they need mentors, and they need opportunity to achieve, and this gives them a real chance to discover all they can be.”

In 2021, following a $400,000 renovation by the Ravens, LEVEL82 launched the LEVEL Up Leadership Academy at the Hilton Recreation Center. Since reopening, LEVEL82 has provided academic support, mentoring, youth development and recreational programs in the upgraded center. Alongside other partners in the amazing new club, this work will only increase and help even more youth and community members.

LEVEL82 was founded by two-time Super Bowl Champion and former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and his wife, Chanel, with a goal of creating a gathering place for those who live, work, and play in Baltimore City.

Smith added: “When Chanel and I started LEVEL82, we wanted to use the platform that football provided to make a positive impact on our adopted community of Baltimore. I can’t thank the Ravens, Steve and Renee and all of our partners for the support that has allowed us to exceed our expectations. This work is critically important and is truly making a difference in the lives of the youth who are seeking opportunities and want to create a successful future for themselves. This Club is game-changing in so many ways, and hopefully, it creates a model that stretches throughout our city, state and across the country.”

Green Street Academy was founded in 2010 and is a West Baltimore public charter school serving 875 students annually. The Club’s facilities will serve as a home court and field for the Academy’s sports teams.

Denisha Logan, Executive Director of Green Street Academy, concluded: “As we continue to grow and provide high-level education for the children of West Baltimore and Baltimore City, we look to enhance our programs, including athletics. Who better to partner with than our Baltimore Ravens, when it comes to sports facilities? These marvelous courts and athletic field will give our scholars a home-field advantage unlike any other in our community.”

Rendering courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore

Screenshot from Google Maps 

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.