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New YMCA location coming to south Shreveport

Crews will officially break ground on Oct. 26
Rendering showing the exterior of the Forbing YMCA
Rendering showing the exterior of the Forbing YMCA(NewQuest Properties | NewQuest Properties)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:10 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The YMCA is set to begin construction on a new facility in south Shreveport after receiving an anonymous donation.

The 30,000 to 45,000 square foot facility will be located in the Camp Forbing Marketplace. Back in 2014, the YMCA sold 30 acres of its Camp Forbing property to a company out of Houston called NewQuest. Officials with the YMCA say they always intended to return to the area and build a new facility.

“We decided to give up something good to get something great,” explained YMCA of Northwest Louisiana CEO Gary Lash. “We kept about 20 acres as a placeholder for this part of town. The time has now come to return a Y facility to Forbing.”

Lash says the new facility will have activities for both adults and children. He says he hopes the activities will help keep people, specifically kids, out of trouble. The new YMCA location will include two sports fields, a swimming pool, and tens of thousands of square feet of usable space.

“We are excited to have the new Forbing YMCA join our neighborhood. It will bring so much good family enjoyment to our area for many years to come,” said David Alvis with Silver Star Grille, a business in the Camp Forbing Marketplace.

The YMCA is also in the process of building a 130-acre outdoor educational center next to the BHP YMCA at Knight and Preston streets. The educational urban park, which will be open to the public, will continue YMCA traditions started at Camp Forbing, like day camps, after school programs, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and ropes courses.

“The YMCA at Forbing has meant so much to so many generations in our community. We are thrilled to be able to continue the legacy of the Y in this area and location,” said Jeffrey Goodman, director of marketing and development for the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.

The history of the YMCA at Forbing is long and full of interesting stories. Back in 1940, the Y took over Camp Lassa (Louisiana Sunday School Association) and ran the facility for the next 75 years. During that time, many young people attended camp there, including Terry Bradshaw, who wrote his name on a wooden beam in one of the cabins.

A young Terry Bradshaw wrote his name into a wooden beam of one of the cabins for what may be...
A young Terry Bradshaw wrote his name into a wooden beam of one of the cabins for what may be the first autograph of his illustrious career.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

The pool at the facility was also built using proceeds donated by Elvis Presley when he did a concert in at Louisiana Hayride in December of 1956.

Elvis Presley in his final appearance on the Louisiana Hayride show at the Louisiana State Fair...
Elvis Presley in his final appearance on the Louisiana Hayride show at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds in December of 1956. This is a previously unpublished photo provided by former Times photographer Langston McEachern.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

The original Fort Moore sign will also be displayed at the new facility to honor the history of the Y at Forbing.

Fort Moore was erected and commissioned by the Young Men's Christian Association in February of...
Fort Moore was erected and commissioned by the Young Men's Christian Association in February of 1960 and named in gratitude for the life and service of Randle T. Moore Sr. (1875-1957), pioneer of Shreveport, friend of youth director YMCA, and civic/business leader.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

The new development is set to break ground on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Click here to see the detailed site plan for the Forbing YMCA.

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