The Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona has been serving the children of Prescott Valley since 2000 by providing a structured environment after-school where children grow through academic, athletic and lifestyle lessons.
The club’s importance to not only the children but also their parents in the community showed as the town of Prescott Valley awarded the club $640,000 thorough the 2016 Community Development Block Grant.
“We thought it was a good use of the funds because they do serve a critical component of the community,” said Prescott Valley Deputy Town Manager Ryan Judy in a phone interview. “If the kids didn’t have that facility, then they would be forced to go elsewhere which would be a hardship for a lot of the families in that area.”
The club also received a donation from a private individual and their family, which amounts to a six-figure range.
“The organization is so appreciative of the support that we are receiving from the town and also from the funding we are receiving from the private foundation,” said Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona Executive Director Gerald Szostak. “Hopefully we will use that to get to our goal and create this great space for the kids and the community.”
The popularity of the club is well known, as waiting lists to join have been full since school started in August. Currently, the club supports 120 kids a day from ages six to eighteen. Szostak said the money would be used to not only add amenities to the already existing club, such as basketball court, but also expand the building to allow more kids to experience the program.
“That waiting list will hopefully go away,” Szostak said. “I’m hoping we have over 200 kids a day here.”
The club will expand from its current size of 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Additionally, the teen area will be remolded and feature it’s own entrance and teen-specific activities such as computers.
Szostak said the second phase of the project is to remodel the current building, which used to be a senior center, to better serve the goals of the program and add space for even more kids to join the program.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in he fall of 2017.
“We’re excited that hopefully by this time next year, we will be serving eighty more kids a day,” Szostak said.
There is no set date for phase two to begin or complete.
Szostak also mentioned the club is currently hiring staff members and volunteers. Those who are interested should contact Albert Rodriguez, the Boys and Girls Club Director of Operations, at (928)-776-8686.