TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The State of Alabama has announced a significant partnership with the Saban Center to create an innovative STEM hub for local and regional school districts that will prepare students, educators and the workforce for the future.

Head Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry attended a news conference at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Wednesday morning. Saban says he is excited about what this project will mean for students.

“When we can create opportunities for [students] to have a lifetime of learning, that’s going to enhance their chances of being successful in the future,” Saban said. “And the greatest impact on this to me getting a quality education and a hope for a good education.”

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says the Saban Center project is huge for his community.

“Understand that this community and our state working together has risen to the occasion of making certain that every child in Alabama has their shot at an American dream,” Maddox said.

Opening in 2026, the Saban Center is an immersive STEM hub and children’s performing arts center in Tuscaloosa made possible by a unique public-private partnership model. It is built to house two of Tuscaloosa’s most storied institutions — the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and IGNITE (formerly known as the Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-on Museum). The Saban Center will unite science, technology, engineering and math with the arts and outdoor recreation.