The City of Tuscaloosa held a groundbreaking for the new Benjamin Barnes YMCA facility on Tuesday, October 24 at 9 a.m. in the McDonald Hughes Center north parking lot.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Executive Director of Benjamin Barnes YMCA LaKeda Smith, CEO of YMCA Tuscaloosa Jeff Knox, Judge John England, Councilor Raeven Howard and Councilor Matthew Wilson spoke during the ceremony. “Today is not about an ending, today is a beginning, there is more to come,” said Mayor Walt Maddox. “With this project and future Elevate initiatives, the City will continue to invest in our young people with every opportunity.” The project, funded by Elevate Tuscaloosa, hopes to bring enhanced resources to families in West Tuscaloosa and the greater community including athletics, year-round child care and education programming. The Benjamin Barnes YMCA will offer complimentary amenities, programs and services to nearby facilities. “We have a historic partnership with the City of Tuscaloosa and now we can fulfill our shared belief that every child should have an opportunity for success, an opportunity to be great,” said Jeff Knox, CEO of YMCA Tuscaloosa.
“Our future looks very bright and it’s going to continue to get brighter,” said Councilor Raeven Howard. “The Benjamin Barnes YMCA has been a staple in my community since around 1962, and today as we get ready to break ground, this is a very exciting moment not just for the Benjamin Barnes YMCA, but for all of our youth in the community." Construction is expected to be completed in 2024. “Thank you to the City, thank you to the community, to the advocates that heard our story and were passionate and stood up and worked for us, thank you,” said LaKeda Smith, Executive Director of Benjamin Barnes YMCA. Learn more about the new Benjamin Barnes YMCA facility.