LOUISVILLE, KY — The Urban League, and Mayor Fischer believe they can work together to raise money for a state of the art track development, but for many people in west Louisville $30-million dollars of investment seems like a pie in the sky after years of disappointment.
“A review committee made up of Metro staff and citizen volunteers has recommended that we move forward with the Louisville Urban League’s $30-million dollar plan for a mixed-use development anchored by a state of the art indoor track and field facility,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.
From the moment the clapping stopped following Mayor Fischer’s announcement that a state of the art facility could be coming to west Louisville the whispers of doubt began.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say this is like putting a band-aid on a gunshot,” said James Linton.
“If you’re going to take that money and build a track you can build some apartments over there or put something over there so somebody can have a job,” said an anonymous Russell resident.
“I understand the frustration,” said Jerald Muhammad. “There has been a lot of empty promises, but I think this could be something that could come through. We just have to wait and see.”
Wait and see is the approach Dixie Corcoran has taken since moving to the Russell Neighborhood 35 years ago, since that time Corcoran has seen project after project fail.
“The west end has just been a forgotten place,” said Corcoran. “It’s literally been forgotten.”
She blames violence in the area for many of the issues, but to Corcoran and many west Louisville leaders say this development seems different.
“This one will come,” said Corcoran. “This one will come. The others were too wishy-washy, and too much adversity around them. There were too many threats of what could happen. This has got all the positive all the way around.”
“Any crime or violence in that area will move away from that area,” said Muhammad. “It will give us something to help us take pride in our community.”
Until work begins pride may be all people in this community have to hang on to, but for many, the promise of a better tomorrow is a good start.
“It’s a great start,” said Corcoran. “It will enhance just like the Yum! Center did downtown.”
“If we could save just one life by having this track and field in position we have all done our job,” said Linton.
WHAS wants to hear your thoughts on the proposed track and field development in the Russell neighborhood at Thursday morning’s 9th Street Divide meeting.
The meeting will be taking place at the Dolfinger building in the Portland neighborhood at 8 AM.