By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The Sanneh Foundation is expanding its services in a part of St. Paul where the focus is on combating inequities.

Mayor Melvin Carter and Sanneh Foundation community partners. Delta Dental of Minnesota and Comcast cut the ribbon on a new state-of-the-art facility that will give kids and families much needed support.

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Tony Sanneh says the opening of the new Equity Center is what’s needed in this community.

“Everyone comes here and it’s vibrant and it’s safe and it makes me smile,” he said. “So if you have the best you expect the best so you’ll be the best.”

Youth and families and will now have access to this state-of-the-art center. Space for classrooms and play address physical health, educational needs and the overall well-being of the community.

Seniors can walk the quarter mile track while pickup games of after school flag football are played. There is also a special area for kids under 10 to play.

Sanneh says the dome – which is the largest in Minnesota – is also one of the safest surfaces.

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“We have the first and only all wooden field in Minnesota. No carcinogens. We also have a pad in there, they tell us it’s the first low-income community they put one in the country so this by the far the healthiest and safest infield in Minnesota,” Sanneh said.

Although this is the largest dome in Minnesota there is more room on the outside than inside. Combined that’s 300 thousand feet of turf.

Inside, finishing touches are made on a tech hub, an investment to introduce more kids to careers in STEM.

“This will be the new tech room. There’ll be hubs like this – kids will have iPads,” Sanneh said. Another room will be a space for kids to learn about coding.

What was once a city park schedule to close is now a facility focused on combatting inequities.

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The Sanneh Foundation partnered with the City of St. Paul to run and expand the facility.

Reg Chapman