LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Neglected and empty for years, but a piece of land in West Louisville has a new future.
Louisville Urban League along with city leaders broke ground on the long-awaited sports and learning complex Tuesday.
"I'm talking about investments that'll bring disposable income, that will bring people in with money who then help other things grow organically," president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, Sadiqa Reynolds said.
The groundbreaking ceremony quickly turned into a fundraising event after the Louisville Urban League raised almost $300,000 in less than two hours.
The ceremony started with an open and honest call for help from the community.
"It's the hardest speech in the world to say 'Thank you and please do more,'" Reynolds said.
It's taken a year for Louisville Urban League to raise $18 million and 10 million came from the city. The group still has to raise $17 million to cross the finish line.
There are 4,000 seats in the sports and learning complex. Mayor Greg Fischer was the first to announce he was buying a $5,000 seat in the sports and learning complex during the ceremony. Then Louisville Tourism committed to buying four seats, and from there, dozens more threw their money in the basket.
"We need everybody in this community in on this project and with the kind of energy we saw at the ceremony, I have no doubt that we can do it," Reynolds said.
The Urban League is forced to break up construction in one to three phases due to lack of money. The hope is to finish everything by the end of 2020. Reynolds said she is not worried about funding causing the project to fail or the construction to pause because Tuesday's two hour ceremony was a testimony to what the community is capable of doing.
"So even though this is a miraculous project, we're still at the ground level of what God can do," Reynolds said. "You Louisville, have the power to control this project, and we're going to get it done!"