12/14/12 Legion Field Center Groundbreaking

Good morning. I’m excited to be here at Legion Field this morning. I know it’s chilly, so we won’t take long, but today is a special day.

I want to recognize the City Council members who are here with us today and I want to thank them for supporting this project. I also want to thank past City Council members, especially Ron Townsend.

For nearly 100 years, Legion Field has been a center for recreation in Pensacola. From the old diamond and grandstand that hosted Babe Ruth and the Yankees in 1929, through to the Home of the Tigers today, Legion Field has served generations.

Today, we break ground on the newest addition to that legacy, a fifteen-thousand (15,000) square foot resource center. This center will be a tremendous asset for Legion Field and the neighborhoods of the west side. But this center will be more than a place to play basketball or hold a neighborhood meeting – this center will be a place to provide the services and resources our citizens need and deserve. This center is an investment in our neighborhoods and our community.

As we work to move our City forward and create economic opportunity, it’s critical that we invest in our neighborhoods. Not certain neighborhoods, but every neighborhood, in every part of town. Since I’ve taken office, neighborhoods are no longer just a line-item in the budget – they’re part of everything we do as a City. To truly compete in today’s economy, we must create a safe, attractive, and inviting city where people want to come to live, work, and play.

To do so, that means new amenities like this resource center. That means planting trees and cleaning up our streets. That means tearing down abandoned buildings like the Blount School down the street. Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, we must raise the bar.

When we hold a groundbreaking ceremony like this, I like to think that we’re not breaking ground on a new building – we’re breaking ground on our community’s future. This resource center will be here serving our city’s families long after these City Council members and I leave office. Today isn’t about the bricks and pavement – it’s about the impact a resource like this can have. Today is a celebration of the great things we can build and accomplish when we come together as a community.

Thank you.