116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor has officially announced a project to build a permanent location in Cedar Rapids.
Though the organization has been working in the area for years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor hasn’t had a stand-alone building since the flood of 2008, the organization’s director of marketing, Sarah Hoeger, said.
“It’s going to take a whole village to build a Boys & Girls Club,” Executive Director John Tursi said in a news conference Friday. “We’re counting on the area to help us out, and we can’t thank you enough.”
The organization has been working out of various locations throughout Cedar Rapids, including the First Congregational United Church of Christ, at the corner of 17th Street and Washington Avenue SE in Wellington Heights.
Toward the end of 2019, Tursi reached out to the church, which he knew had plans to build a parking lot next to its building on Washington Avenue. Tursi and Rev. Melanie Van Weelden started making plans to include a Boys & Girls Club building in that construction project.
Work on the parking lot has already begun, and the building will follow. The Boys & Girls Club has raised $8.2 million for the project, which will cost about $9 million total. The money raised so far has come from donations and ARPA funding from Cedar Rapids and Linn County. Of the ARPA funds, $750,000 came from the city, and $750,500 came from the county.
The club estimates that the new building will increase capacity so that an additional 300 Cedar Rapids children and teens can be served, nearly doubling the number of youth currently served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor.
The first floor of the building will contain a gymnasium, cafeteria, game room, an education center and a STEM lab. The second floor will have a teen center, teaching kitchen, an art room and a music room with a DJ booth.
“We believe that this facility will be a gift to families and communities for years to come,” Van Weelden said.
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