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Right now, Springfield has three Boys and Girls Club centers, all of them located on the north side of town. After the Boy and Girls Club retreat in the summer of 2012, local leaders began discussing the need for youth services in other underserved areas of the city, determining the need for a fourth center on the southwest side of town.
Ben Hackenwerth is SPS associate superintendent.
“I think with working parents it’s always important to provide high quality wrap around services for students or at least have those services available so that’s before school and after school programming. There’s always a need for additional high quality programming and so a partnership like this allows us to provide high quality programming and do it right there on site at a full service facility,” Hackenwerth said.
The school and adjoined club will act as a shared space with the gym, cafeteria, library, tech lab, art room and other designated areas offering full access to the students.
Hackenwerth said they’re anticipating a high number of students from Sherwood Elementary, but the afterschool program is open to anyone in the area for enrollment.
Pat Garland, Boys and Girls Club executive director, says the project is a great use of both private and public monies and offers another resource for families.
“Springfield Public schools has many partners and they’re looking into community schools where schools can do more than just work with kids during the day that can serve their need beyond a day. This is just another example of what Springfield Public schools is doing and we’re excited about the project,” Garland said.
He added a capital campaign is planned to raise the $1.8 million needed for funding the club. They’ve already received a pledge gift from Springfield Area Sertoma Clubs for $500,000. The new center will be named the Sertoma Unit.
Garland said they are working with the architect on the layout and design of the center that is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.
For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.