$5 million investment from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation provides new community space
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — On Monday, May 10, representatives from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation joined staff and students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) and Chattanooga Preparatory School, along with Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, to celebrate the opening of the BlueCross Healthy Place at Highland Park. The ceremony was held in accordance with local COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor events.
The BlueCross Foundation has invested $5 million in the project, including $4.2 million to build out the space and $840,000 for a maintenance fund. It is the first BlueCross Healthy Place project in the Chattanooga area and the first to be completed on privately owned land, although it will be open to the public.
“We’re excited to have a BlueCross Healthy Place right here in our hometown of Chattanooga,” said Scott Wilson, BlueCross vice president of community relations. “It’s a wonderful space that will build on the great things already happening in Highland Park.”
Features in the new space include:
- Accessible play areas for children ages 2-5 and 5-12 with ramp access, ground-level play and a soft rubber safety surface
- Challenge course with obstacles and a precision timing system
- Fitness station with equipment for aerobic fitness, core fitness and balance
- Sports field with amphitheater seating for school soccer games and local community games
- Tennis and basketball courts
- Walking track
- Pavilion with picnic tables for school and community gatherings
“We’re so appreciative of this grant from the BlueCross Foundation and this new BlueCross Healthy Place,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, chief executive officer of CGLA. “The kids are excited, and the space will be great for bringing the community together.”
Brad Scott, chief executive officer of Chattanooga Prep, echoed that sentiment. “This space is going to have a huge impact on our programming and our boys’ lives,” he said.
The new BlueCross Healthy Place sits near CGLA, Chattanooga Preparatory School and Montessori Elementary at Highland Park. It will be shared by students at all three schools and Highland Park community members.
“When we initially discussed a park and recreation area, we could never have imagined a space like this,” said Dr. Sue Anne Wells, founder of CGLA and executive director of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation and Montesorri Elementary Highland Park. “It is a dream come true, and we are so excited to see it in use.
Access hours for residents are:
- Weekdays – Open to the public sunrise to 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to sunset
- Weekends/school breaks – Open to the public sunrise to sunset
Community members can schedule team play/practice and events by contacting CGLA at 423-702-7230.
For more on the BlueCross Healthy Place program, see bluecrosshealthyplaces.com.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc.®
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and recently celebrated its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. It has awarded $120 million in grants since 2005. The foundation provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.