BHP Billiton is making a $10.7-million donation to the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana for the development of the Red River Fitness & Natural Sciences Campus. It'll be located near Clyde Fant Parkway and East Preston Avenue.

"We are excited to be partnering with not just the leadership and staff of the YMCA, but with children and families throughout northwest Louisiana to bring home a world-class campus and facilities to this community," said BHP Billiton’s Petroleum & Potash President Tim Cutt. "The YMCA's vision and plans for this location will have a multi-parish impact for generations to come. We at BHP Billiton are committed to enhancing the lives of our neighbors in the communities where we operate and for this reason we are proud to announce our support today."

The Red River Fitness & Natural Sciences Campus will encompass approximately 150 acres and will include a new multi-purpose fitness facility, 50 meter swimming pool, and natural science education facilities. The campus will also entail a partnership with Shreveport Little League to redesign and rebuild adjacent ball fields and soccer fields. Each will be developed to better facilitate physical fitness, healthy lifestyles, education, and parental participation.

"To reach our community and address our long-term challenges with youth and families, we need a comprehensive approach and facilities of this size and scope," said YMCA Chairman Greg Morrison. "The Shreveport Little League, swimming clubs, local educators, parents, and grandparents will all have a role in ensuring the bigger success for our entire community."

The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana was established in Shreveport in the late 1860's and currently has two locations in the region, including the downtown location, built in 1924.

"We are hopeful that this campus will enjoy an equally proud and long tenure in the community and the programs and services we’ll be able to provide will positively impact even more children and families," said YMCA Exacutive Director Gary Lash.

Lash tells KEEL News it'll take two-and-a-half to three years to get everything done.

Listen to the rest of the Gary Lash interview here: