Funds still needed for new teen center
By Jacob Mathias
The new Stevens Point location of the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County is only about two months away from opening and less than $100,000 from its $4.2 million fundraising goal.
Youth members of the BGC made the announcement Wednesday, along with the club’s Executive Director Kevin Quevillon during an afternoon during a tour of the newly- constructed club building.
Construction on the 19,000-square-foot broke ground last April and while it’s currently just a frame and sub-flooring, the new building is expected to open sometime in November.
“With just $100,000 remaining to complete the ‘Building Great Futures’ capital campaign, we are calling on the community to help close the gap before we open our new club,” said Quevillon. “We need your help to open new doors.”
One room of the new center is as large as the current BGC Teen Center on Ellis Street, creating many more opportunities for youth programming and entertainment. New additions include a commercial kitchen that will provide more meals to BGC members and distribute meals to the satellite locations. A dental health room has also been added offering teeth cleanings and hygiene education.
A gymnasium, computer lab, art room and multi-activity space are also planned.
The new teen center is open to club members in grades 7-12 and is separate from the rest of the club areas, which will also be open for younger club members. It features a musical performance space, tutoring and activity spaces.
“We’ve never had a permanent home in Stevens Point for our Boys and Girls Club,” said Quevillon. “We’ve always eyed this location. This project came to fruition and it’s been the perfect opportunity for us.”
BGC officials said this summer saw the highest attendance since opening in 2002 and among the eight club sites throughout Portage County served a total of 1,756 breakfasts and 7,855 lunches to area youth. Quevillon expects to help 300 more children once the new center opens.
“Our clubs are hitting their maximum capacity and we realize the necessity of opening the new Stevens Point club as soon as possible,” said Quevillon.
Membership to the BGC is $10 per child per year.
Once the new location is complete, the BGC’s next priority will be to renovated the Plover location, though Quevillon said no set plans have been made at this time.
For more information on BGC, or to donate, visit www.newdoorsgreatfutures.org. Donations of over $1,000 will will be listed on the public donor walls of the Stevens Point club.