top of page
Elevate Parks & Recreation (Tree & Green

Saban Center

Updated Jan 18 2023

Latest News


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 and interactive learning, Saban Center will be constructed in a prime downtown location near the riverfront.  

Work began with the completion of a master plan for the facility. Each participating organization determined requirements and needs for their new space. Research was conducted to establish best practices from the top educational centers in the nation. Ongoing work includes architectural design efforts, a capital fundraising campaign, and business/operational analysis and planning.  Future phases will include construction, exhibit fabrication, and installation of furnishings before the building opens to the public.

River District Park is intended to serve as an outdoor extension of 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 programs to provide new, unique educational opportunities for children and families

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


Hover to see details

Key Milestones & Events
Up Next:
  • Select a construction management firm

  • Complete silent phase of the capital fundraising campaign

  • Complete design documents

  • October 2019: property purchased

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

  • October 2021: Audrey Buck named temporary Director of the Saban Center (more info here)

  • April 2022: contracted for program management and owner's representative services with Volkert and The Projects Group

  • May 2022: master plan unveiled (more info here)

  • November 2022: contracted for architectural and related design services with Davis Architects and Steinberg Hart

Project Materials

Cost Summary








hide cost details

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:


hide funding details

Funding Details
bottom of page