Groundbreaking ceremony held for MLB Urban Youth Academy facility at Marian Anderson Rec Center

In 2013 we first told you about plans for the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, a program that will provide state of the art baseball facilities to inner-city kids.

Yesterday the project broke ground at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center at 17th and Fitzwater for this new indoor facility.

This new facility will utilize the current classroom space at Marian Anderson for things like tutoring and SAT prep, in addition to this expansion for a new fitness center with indoor batting cages. A 7,500 sq. ft. addition is being built for this program.

More from 6ABC:

It’s an effort to expose more inner city kids to a sport that requires a lot of open space.

“Maybe identify somebody that will be talented enough to play big league ball, but, at the very least, maybe they’ll get a college scholarship or an opportunity to play in college that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise,” Phillies Chairman David Montgomery said.

When the indoor facility is up and running next spring, about 8,000 boys and girls in the city will have access to free baseball and softball training year round.

You can read more about the plans for Urban Youth Academy here.