Both kids and adults on Wednesday celebrated the start of construction on the $4 million expansion of the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings.
Since its inception in 2003, the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings has grown to serve approximately 1,400 youth. The building where the club is located now was completed in 2007, but the facility has neared capacity and is in need of a significantly larger space. On any given day, it serves around 400 kids.
The three-phase expansion will add around 25,000 square feet of much-needed operating space. It includes adding 13,000 square feet on to the current facility for an early childhood center, adding room for first- through fifth-graders, redoing corporate offices and refurbishing existing areas. The club has also purchased the 11,000-square-foot Peace Lutheran Church across Eighth Street South, which will be refurbished as a teen center.
Keith Mahlum, president of the club’s corporate board of directors, thanked the community for its ongoing support of the club as it approaches a significant anniversary. “Today we get a chance to celebrate, or very soon officially, 10 years of excellence with Boys & Girls Clubs in Brookings. Today is another chapter in that book we’re writing about the future of our kids in Brookings and the surrounding communities.
“Thank you for investing in the kids that we care so much about. We’re very fortunate to live in an area where youth, education and children are very important priorities in our communities. … There are 400 kids in our building today who need more space so they can dream bigger. They need more facilities so they can engage with their teachers and volunteers who come in so they can become more productive citizens when they leave here.”
Photo: Jill Fier/Register