Elevate Parks & Recreation (Tree & Green

Saban Center

Updated Jun 07 2022

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The Saban Center will bring together community organizations including the Children's Hands-On Museum (CHOM) and the Tuscaloosa Children's Theatre in a unique public-private partnership. The project was catalyzed by generous donations from Nick and Terry Saban and their non-profit organization, Nick's Kids Foundation.  Featuring STEAM programs, the arts, and interactive learning, Saban Center will be housed in the existing Tuscaloosa News building.

Work will begin with the completion of a master plan for the facility. Each participating organization will determine requirements and needs for their new space. Research will be conducted to establish best practices from the top educational centers in the nation. Then, decisions will be made about the features and amenities that could be constructed or installed at Saban Center. Later phases of work will generate architectural designs based on the master plan, a capital fundraising campaign, and construction before the building opens to the public.

River District Park is intended serve as an outdoor extension to the Saban Center by allowing additional programming opportunities. 

Goals and Impact
  • Create a first-of-its kind experiential learning center to improve quality of life for residents

  • Unite beloved local STEAM and arts programs to provide new, unique educational opportunities for children and families

  • Provide a state-of-the-art destination that will attract tourism


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Key Milestones & Events
Up Next:
  • Kick off capital fundraising campaign

  • Contract with professional consultants for the design and programming of the facility

  • The property was purchased in October 2019

  • Nick's Kids Avenue Street Renaming Jubilee August 5, 2021 (more info here)

  • Audrey Buck named temporary Director of the Saban Center (more info here)

  • Master Plan was completed in May 2022

Project Materials

Cost Summary







Pending Planning/Design

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Spent: The amount paid on this project to-date.​

Approved: The amount that has been approved by the City Council to be spent for a specific contract or purpose on this project. In city accounting terms, this is spent + encumbered.

Budget: The total amount of money that the City expects to be spent to complete this project. This amount is only finalized once sufficient planning on the project has been completed.

Financial Information
Cost Details

Elevate Tuscaloosa Fund: City funds dedicated to Elevate Tuscaloosa which are allocated to this project.

Other City Funds: City funds from non-Elevate Tuscaloosa sources allocated to this project.

External Funding: Amounts from sources outside of the city, such as grants, or donations from citizens or private companies.

Overall Funding

Funding Summary


Elevate Tuscaloosa Fund:


Other City Funds:


External Funding:


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Funding Details