South Bend school district will see $1.5 million in funds in new partnership

An old Friday night lights tradition has a new name as of Monday. South Bend’s School Field will now be called “TCU School Field” and the name isn’t the only thing changing.

A new partnership between the school board and the Teachers Credit Union will mean more funds for the district - $1.5 million more in funds.

“I’m ecstatic. This is a great partnership, it’s great for kids,” said Dr. Kenneth Spells, Superintendent of South Bend schools.

For more than 80 years, School Field has been the home of your high school football games, cheerleaders, and parents watching the students take down their rivals, and while this will all stay the same, the name and other physical aspects of the field will change. Teachers Credit Union is now the exclusive naming rights sponsor of the field, but the partnership goes further than football.

“They’re not just concerned about an advertising opportunities and having their name on school field, they were really consistent on supporting technology, fine arts programs, and science programs within our corporation,” said Stan Wruble, SBCSC Board President.

Earlier this year, TCU pledged a $300,000 gift to be paid between August of 2018 - July of 2028 to support the school corporation’s academics, athletics, arts, and student technologies programs. The rest of the $1.5 million will come from additional interest, dividend, and having naming rights over those 10 years.

TCU responded to the approval with a statement:

“TCU is excited to announce an expanded partnership with South Bend Schools to enhance the

academic and athletic experience of students. This is a natural partnership for TCU and dates to our founding in 1931 when a group of South Bend school teachers joined together to form TCU. While times have changed, providing a quality education is still just as important today and we’re pleased to partner to make a positive impact.”

“I really like the fact that they want to do some athletic things but also some academic things and some things with technology. It’s part of ‘Team South Bend’, getting people on board and working with us and this is just a great outcome for kids,” said Dr. Spells.

Right now, we’re seeing installation of the artificial turf. That’s part of that partnership, but other physical changes like lighting and signage are expected to go up sometime before the first game. Stick with ABC 57 News as we continue to follow up on those developments.

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