Tuscaloosa city council unanimously approved a $ 7.3 million contract for the River District Park project on Tuesday.

“The River District Park Project has the potential to be one of the most innovative, cultivated and essential facets of Tuscaloosa, [and] most importantly, West Tuscaloosa, ”District 1 Councilor Matthew Wilson said. “I believe this opportunity has the potential to be a rebirth of West Tuscaloosa with the right awareness and involvement.”

The River District Park will be built adjacent to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater at the northwest corner of Greensboro Avenue and Jack Warner Drive. The park will serve as an extension of the Saban Center and provide STEM recreational activities for children and families in the Tuscaloosa community.

The Saban Center will bring together the Children’s Hands-On Museum, the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theater, and the Tuscaloosa Public Library in the Tuscaloosa News building, which city council voted for $ 8 million in October 2019.

The Saban family and the Nick’s Kids Foundation donated $ 1.25 million to support the development of the center, and the town of Tuscaloosa renamed 28th Avenue to Nick’s Kids Avenue in July 2021.

The River District Park project is part of Elevate Tuscaloosa, a larger city initiative. Wilson said he feels optimistic about the project.

“We realize this is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Wilson said. “I also understand that this opportunity comes with challenges. So, while we look forward to this, we are also ready to take on the challenges so that the River District Park is a park for all citizens, especially those of West Tuscaloosa.