LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Portland neighborhood is showing another huge sign of progress after a community group announced plans to purchase the old Salvation Army building and turn it back into a safe haven for young people.
The plan already had the support of a major preservationist and developer in town.
Gill Holland, the man that breathed new life in the Market Street corridor known now as NULU, has offered his support for a youth development center to go in this now vacant Salvation Army building.
It's a major boost for a group that wants to give kids a place to go.
“It's a place that once was a positive influence in the lives of so many in the Portland community. Portland resident Ed Nardie White was one of them.
It was a life saver. It was a skill builder. You made lifelong friends here. You can see that right now," White said.
Now there are signs this center could soon be filled with the sounds of children again and this time as the Andy Maupin Portland Youth Development Center.
"We are gonna step up and show the city that we can step up and do something very positive , not only to this area but to the City of Louisville," Scott Harris of Andy Maupin Portland Youth Development Center said.
The Salvation Army operated the building which once housed the Portland Boys and Girls Club. It was forced to close due to budget constraints, leaving the youth here without a safe haven to play and learn.
"This was the pulse of the community. It was a divided community. But once we got in this building, it was all over," White said.
It will be named after Andy Maupin. He spent more than twenty years working for the youth in Portland.
Maupin died in an industrial accident in April. This would honor his legacy.
The community group leading the charge wants to purchase it from the Salvation Army with the hopes it once again will once again be a home away from home for the children of Portland.
"We want this community to have a resource. And there is no one that embodies the community and the values that have been set forth in this club like Andy Maupin," Harris said.
The group has already forwarded its proposal to the Salvation Army. A spokesperson says they can’t comment at this time but the committee plans to take up the issue tomorrow and consider the offer.