The State of Alabama announced a partnership with the Saban Center, in Tuscaloosa, to create an innovative STEM hub for local and regional school districts that will prepare students, educators and the workforce for the future.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced the state’s partnership with the city of Tuscaloosa and Terry and Nick Saban for creating the Saban Center during her State of the State address earlier this week.
The STEM hub, which was initially designed with local educators’ input, will provide immersive science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to local and regional school districts. In addition, it will provide professional development for educators and will have an outreach component to reach communities about job opportunities in STEM careers.
“What we bring to this as the state is a regional and statewide approach to introduce our children to the many opportunities that exist for them in science, technology, engineering and math fields,” said Eric Mackey, Alabama State Board of Education superintendent.
Located on the site of the former Tuscaloosa News building, the Saban Center will also include children’s performing arts. The building will house the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and IGNITE, formerly the Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-on Museum. The city of Tuscaloosa purchased the site three years ago.
“This community and our state, working together, have risen to the occasion to ensure that every child in Alabama has their shot at an American dream,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. “Success is never an accident, and it rarely happens in isolation. Today, the state joins the long list of partners in this effort, without whom this elite STEM center would not be possible.”
Partners in the STEM hub are Nick and Terry Saban, the city of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, IGNITE, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Alabama State Department of Education and the state of Alabama. The center is expected to open in 2026.