KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- After a year and a half wait the Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex is ready to open. The Emerald Youth Foundation broke ground on the multimillion dollar structure in July 2018.
As excited as leaders of the project are to open the doors to the complex, they also understand challenges they’re going to face.
“Because we will be able to reach a neighborhood in a way that we haven’t been able to … there are so many families that this will bless and so it’s just a tremendous opportunity,” Emerald Youth Foundation’s Kevin DuBose said.
Opportunities for the community to use two turf fields outside the building. Inside, there is a cafe, a gym with free weights and machines, and two gymnasiums with eight basketball courts and four volleyball courts.
The new facility will also offer a way for high school students to stay on track and excel in their studies.
“(Students can) get help with homework; we’ll have workshops, everything from ACT prep to interviewing skills to … becoming a better student.” DuBose said.
The nonprofit will have a full clinic opening to the public in January thanks to Cherokee Health and UT Medical as well.
“We want the services to be available to anybody who needs them and even though our main office is located a couple miles away that can be tough for some people to access,” Jeff Howard, chief financial officer for Cherokee Health, said.
“We just see that it’s very important to integrate the care so that the patients … don’t have to be referred to someone else. If they can access the care in one visit that’s a whole lot better for everybody,” said Howard.
The grand opening of the complex is from 4-7 p.m. Thursday.