Residents weigh in on west Louisville ‘opportunity campus’
Officials leading the Goodwill Opportunity Campus initiative spoke with residents on Tuesday at the first community forum for the 20-acre, $100 million project in west Louisville.
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and Norton Healthcare hosted the event at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center to discuss plans and get feedback for the Parkland neighborhood site.
The campus will serve as Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s headquarters, feature a new Norton Healthcare hospital, and offer community services like mentorship and childcare through local partners. Officials say the goal is to serve local residents by eliminating opportunity barriers and health disparities.
Renee Murphy, Norton Healthcare’s senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, said the decision to bring a hospital to the West End was motivated by a community needs assessment her company uses.
“In this area of the community, we heard about lack of access, needing more access to specialty care, and that transportation proved to be a barrier in some cases. So in order to change outcomes, we knew we had to do things differently,” Murphy said.
Following a presentation by Goodwill and Norton officials, attendees were able to walk around and speak with representatives about the project.
Former West End resident Larry Anderson said development like this is needed. He compared his current neighborhood of Hurstbourne to what is available in west Louisville and said community investment through the campus was important.
“It’s totally necessary because we’re losing out. Like, where I’m at, they’re putting a Topgolf up, we’ve got the one Macy’s in the whole city,” Anderson said. “Where I’m at, you’ve got access to whatever you want to do.”
Vicki Lateef said she was born and raised in the West End and supports the new hospital. She said community turnout at the event was a positive sign.
“I’m glad to see healthcare come to the West End of Louisville. I'm definitely happy about the fact I see so many people out to support it. It’s important,” Lateef said.
She also said it’s important that residents know how to take advantage of opportunities provided by new investment, such as knowing which questions to ask at the hospital.
“It's good to have these kinds of facilities and whatnot. But it also means that people have to step up their game and they’ll have to also learn to take better care of themselves as well. It goes hand in hand,” Lateef said.
Ground was broken at the 28th and Broadway site in June. Leaders at Tuesday’s event said they expect the campus to open in late 2023 and for the hospital to begin operations in 2024.