LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Urban League received help from nine community banks joining together to fund the final capital for the new Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center in west Louisville.

Led by Republic Bank, the group filled a $10 million funding gap through a loan for the $53 million facility located on the corner of 30th and West Muhammad Ali Boulevard. 

Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said the business community setting aside competition and focusing on collaboration to advance the greater good allows for a more equitable future.

"Accomplishing big goals requires our business community understanding the tremendous needs and committing to be a part of the solution," Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said.

After raising $43 million in 22 months, the Louisville Urban League was left with a $10 million gap in funding. Republic Bank worked with the group of banks to provide the loan.

Steve Trager, Republic Bank Chairman and CEO, said the partnership reflects a strategy of investing and lending in underserved areas.

"We take seriously our commitment to community, which is why we heeded the call from Louisville Urban League and created a partnership with other leading community banks," Trager said. "While all of us are competitors, we are partners in making this game-changing project happen for the West End."

Reynolds was advised to put a halt to the project when the pandemic started, but she wanted to make it happen.

"This community has always been promised things that don't turn into anything," Reynolds said. "I didn't want to be a part of that."

The 24-acre facility, which sits on a previously abandoned lot, opened last week. It has the capability to host a variety of events including track and field meets, volleyball matches and concerts, among other events.

At full capacity, the facility can host 4,000 spectators for indoor track and field events, and also features a hydraulic floor that provides additional seating for non-athletic events. 

Besides athletic opportunities, the facility has a space dedicated to educational programming, along with a mini bowling alley and rock-climbing wall.

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