The City of Tuscaloosa shared a $1 million contribution from Nick and Terry Saban to fund the Saban Center, a city public-private project set to bring together the Children’s Hands-On Museum, Tuscaloosa Public Library, and Tuscaloosa Children’s Theater in the building of what is currently the Tuscaloosa News. The Saban Center will also include a public park on the Black Warrior River adjacent to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, according to its official website.

The center says the goal is to bring STEM programs together with theater, literature, outdoor recreation, and interactive learning for children and families in Tuscaloosa and surrounding area. Master planning for River District Park will begin in Spring 2020 with construction beginning as early as Fall 2020 and a completion date near Spring 2021.

“It’s an honor for us to be a part of this new learning center, an honor for our family, our family’s legacy for what we’ve tried to accomplish, not only at the University of Alabama in the football program, but also a part our community,” Saban said Friday at the conclusion of the event, per the Tuscaloosa News. “This is going to be a hub for a lot of educational matters, whether it’s a children’s museum, a library, lecture halls (and) classrooms and will probably draw people to our community in a lot of ways. …

“I think this is great for our community and something Terry and I are really, really excited about. Thank you very much, God bless you and Roll Tide.”

There’s not a better legacy for the Saban family to leave in Alabama than something that helps children learn,” Mrs. Terry added, “and the Saban Center will be the elite learning center in the South.

“Nick and I are so proud and excited to be involved in this wonderful project that will attract all disciplines of learning, from science, math, and engineering to literature, music and the arts. … The potential is endless.”

The Nick’s Kids Foundation will also be making a $250,000 contribution to the Saban Center.