The Niagara Falls City School District is launching a campaign to secure corporate sponsorships for its athletic and performing arts facilities. The first secured sponsorship renames the high school football stadium for the late Arthur “Art” Calandrelli.
Ellen Latham told WBFO everyone knew her late father as “Coach Cal.”
Calandrelli was a longtime physical education teacher, track and football coach and athletic director for Niagara Falls, and Latham said she wanted him to maintain a footprint in the district.
“It’s exciting that his energy will continue to influence students and just kind of be on the ground where he spent so many years coaching these kids,” Latham said. “He just loved them.”
Latham, a Niagara Falls High School alumna, is creator and co-founder of the international franchise Orangetheory Fitness. She becomes the first sponsor of a campaign the Niagara Falls school district will launch Friday called, “For Our Kids and Yours.”
“We have to be creative in the way we find funding for the things for our kids,” said Superintendent Mark Laurrie. “Raising taxes is out of the question. Asking the legislators for more and more and more becomes more difficult, so we’re just trying to be creative in our approach.”
Laurrie said the district has about 25 sponsorship opportunities in total, and that all funds secured will go directly to student athletics and performing arts.
The Niagara Gazette reported that Latham is donating $150,000 for the football stadium and field house and an additional $5,000 annually in scholarship funds for a standout track or football scholar-athlete.
Possible coming improvements for Niagara Falls’ football program include adding lighting to the field and purchasing new uniforms, Laurrie said.
“It’s set up so it will go back to the location where Mr. Calandrelli, not that particular field, but where he spent many of his career days coaching and teaching.”
In June, Laurrie also told WBFO he believed this is a unique effort for a public school district in New York State.