West Tuscaloosa residents want new YMCA built

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A group of concerned Tuscaloosa residents is calling on the YMCA board and the city of Tuscaloosa to work together to build a brand new Benjamin Barnes YMCA to replace the aging facility that was built in 1955.

Danielle Eaton is part of the group who calls the effort, “Build A New Barnes Branch, Take Care of Our Kids”.  

“They deserve a brand new facility, they’ve had this building for all these years and have taken care of it the best they could. But it’s old and it’s falling apart and hopefully at the end of all this we will have a brand new Barnes,” Eaton said.

The building located on Dinah Washington Avenue is 65 years old. Eaton says her group has begun a petition drive to raise money for the aging Benjamin Barnes building.  

On Tuesday morning, supplies were dropped off to help the 55 kids who use the center. Items such as gloves, napkins, perishable items, snacks, water and drinks.

“I am just so proud of the Tuscaloosa community how we all came together, man, woman, black, white. We all donated nearly $800 to the BBYMCA today,” Eaton said.

City Council member Kip Tyner supports the efforts being made to help the old building. He agrees that a new facility needs to be built.

“About one year ago we were presented a proposal of moving the Barnes branch to the campus of Stillman College. I thought and still think that would be a great thing to do because Stillman has incredible resources,” Tyner said.

CBS 42 reached out to several YMCA board members for that side of the story but no one was available to talk on camera.


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