HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama (B&GC) will soon have a new club for youth in North Huntsville.
Whitesburg Baptist Church donated its now unused building off of Pulaski Pike, to the organization.
“We wanted to be a blessing to the community, and to the city of Huntsville with the donation of this property,” said Senior Associate Pastor of Whitesburg Baptist, Philip Slusher.
The announcement came at a small press conference outside the church on Monday.
President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama, Patrick Wynn, said the announcement felt surreal.
“The fact that we’re here today and we can actually make this happen, and start opening our doors to as I said earlier, to 4,500 to 4,600 school-age kids that don’t have a structured after-school program in North Huntsville, don’t have a supervised summer program, it’s a great day for Boys & Girls Club and a great day for the city of Huntsville.”
The church will be fully renovated before it opens as a club.
Not only does it offer a lot of space, but it already has an indoor gym, and leaves opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“On the back side we have fourteen acres of land,” Wynn said. “So our goal is to provide first-class sports fields out there to do soccer, football, baseball, you name it.”
While sports are one aspect the B&GC offers, it really focuses on education. Wynn said they will be sure to outfit spaces inside for STEM education.
Part of the announcement Monday afternoon also included the announcement of a public capital campaign and other efforts.
The Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama’s “Doors to the Future” capital campaign will fund the renovations of the church, as well as the other projects.
The Boys & Girls Club said it has already raised $6 million of the $7.8 million dollar fundraising goal. However, it is also looking for contributions from the public.
You can donate to the Doors to the Future campaign here.
The campaign will also pay for the renovations of four other North Alabama clubs.
- James A. Lane Club (Huntsville): $2,500,000. Will build a Teen Center, pay for renovations, and add a multipurpose auditorium and commercial kitchen.
- Athens Club (Athens): $875,000. Will build a Teen Center and pay for renovations.
- 3rd Street Club (Decatur): $250,000. Will pay for renovations to include a Teen Center.
- Ben Sanford Club (Scottsboro): $430,000. Will build a Teen Center.
Wynn said the Teen Centers will fill a gap in the community.
“In the clubs about 15-20 years ago we started losing teens, and so Boys & Girls Clubs of America came up with a plan to create a separate space for teens,” he said. “Because 15 to 16 year old’s don’t want to be around five year old’s.”
“So we’ll have a program just for teens, things like goals for graduation, ACT prep, workforce readiness, a mentoring program,” Wynn said.
The capital campaign will also pay for some new transportation for various clubs. Wynn said 10 new vans have already been ordered. He said he hopes the renovations on the church will be completed by fall 2023.