LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer joined community partners in the Russell neighborhood on Monday to celebrate two signature projects that are part of the city’s ongoing work to revitalize Russell and the other neighborhoods of west Louisville.

What You Need To Know

  •  The Baxter Community Center broke ground on an $11.6 million renovation and expansion

  •  St. Peter's United Church of Christ is embarking on a $5.1 million redevelopment, with Louisville Metro Government awarding a $2 million grant for the project

  •  Both developments will be multipurpose spaces, bringing office space, housing, recreation and more for the community

  • The mayor celebrated both developments as part of his administration's commitment to west Louisville

The first is an $11.6 million renovation and expansion of the Baxter Community Center. The mayor joined officials from Louisville Metro Housing Authority and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation for a groundbreaking ceremony on the new expansion.

The second is a $2 million Community Development Block Grant from Louisville Metro Government to support a $5.1 million redevelopment of the historic St. Peter’s United Church of Christ into a multipurpose space called The Village @ West Jefferson Too!

“Since the beginning of my administration, my team and I have worked with people across our community to regenerate the nine neighborhoods of west Louisville without displacing those who’ve long called it home. These projects being celebrated today are key parts of that effort, which has resulted in a historic $1.5 billion of investment in this community,” Fischer said. “They are also a recognition that this work does not stop when I leave office. Let’s keep working together as a city for the people of west Louisville and the future of west Louisville.”

Construction work on the Baxter Community Center will begin in Jan. 2023, and the center, located at 1125 W. Liberty St., is expected to reopen in summer 2024. The renovation and expansion project includes the addition of a 4,525-square-foot wing on the west side of the building, along with a gymnasium, classrooms, expanded park and more.

“The input we received from Beecher Terrace and Russell neighborhood residents during the planning process was invaluable in shaping the Baxter Community Center’s renovation,” said Lisa Osanka, LMHA’s executive director.  “We’re excited to be working with Metro Parks again to bring an even broader offering of activities and services back to the Center, including The Beech after-school program.”

In addition to $2.3 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds from LMG, the community center project is receiving financial support from LMHA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the James Brown Graham Foundation.

St. Peter’s United Church of Christ is expanding upon the success of its The Village @ West Jefferson mixed-use development, which includes AMPED’s Russell Technology Business Incubator, Blak Koffee Cafe, a Park Community Bank branch, Norton Healthcare’s Institute for Health Equity, along with Molo Village CDC, the Church’s Community Development Corporation.

The church, led by Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson, will invest $5.1 million to convert the 10,500-square-foot former St. Peter’s church at 1225 W. Jefferson St. into a mixed-use property called The Village @ West Jefferson Too! Once complete, it will house a worship chapel, nonprofit offices, a resource library, Dare to Care Food Bank and additional neighborhood amenities and services.

“The Village @ West Jefferson and The Village @ West Jefferson Too! are examples of community-led development that is critical to the success of the broader revitalization work taking place in west Louisville. Supporting community ownership in such developments helps keep dollars in these neighborhoods and ensures the work benefits existing residents and neighborhood-based organization,” Fischer said.