Major League Baseball and the Dodgers announced Tuesday a first-of-its-kind, $10-million sports academy in the Hansen Dam area for at-risk youth.
In partnership with the team and the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, Major League Baseball is committing $3 million to build the complex on 21 acres in Lake View Terrace, and $1 million per year to help operate it.
The academy will feature two baseball fields, two softball fields and a 20,000-square-foot clubhouse containing lockers, two classrooms, a weightlifting room, a training room, a cafeteria and a library.
It will offer an after-school, weekend and summer curriculum blending academics with sports. The year-round programs will be taught by current and former Major League Baseball personnel involved in such support fields as management, coaching, training, umpiring and grounds keeping.
The Dodgers and baseball officials said they are searching for a satellite site in South-Central Los Angeles to expand the program.
Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla, whose district includes Lake View Terrace, said the land would be leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, probably for a long term and at a minimal cost.
Padilla lobbied baseball officials earlier this year to choose the Hansen Dam area over seven other locations around the nation.
"The academy will stress the values of hard work, the values of teamwork and the values of sportsmanship," Padilla said.
Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Sylmar), who represents the area, said the cost of transporting youngsters to the academy will come out of the $1-million operational budget. He said he also plans to ask state legislators to allocate at least $2 million to the academy.
"This project is going to teach kids to reach for the stars," he said.
Major League Baseball has spent $10 million since 1991 through its Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program. More than 125,000 youths are participating in 160 cities around the world, officials said.