PORTLAND -- NFL player and Portland native Ndamukong Suh teamed up with Nike and other groups Thursday to break ground on a new track and field at Grant High School.

Suh is a 2005 Grant High graduate, and the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation donated $250,000 to the project, said Portland Parks and Recreation spokesman Mark Ross. He added that the donation was the last push needed to help get construction under way.

This is an opportunity for me to help our sports programs compete at a true home field, Suh said. It s something we have all wanted for a very long time.

Nike and the City of Portland each gave $350,000 to the project and Portland Public Schools donated $391,000, Ross said.

This project is an example of how we all benefit when private and public partners come together around a shared goal, said Portland Commissioner Nick Fish.

Grant students have never had a turf athletic playing surface, and the track was closed for school competitions last year due the safety, Ross said. The track was in such poor condition that it was deemed unsafe for competitive use.

The new track and field were expected to be completed in time for the 2013-14 high school football season.

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