Boys & Girls Club plan renovations to serve ‘most resource-constrained neighborhoods in west Dayton’

DAYTON — The Boys and Girls Club of Dayton is seeking $2.5 million to renovate its West Stewart Street facility to improve technology and close the digital divide, while also improving other areas of the building.

“The 1960′s facility, is inefficient and lacks the technology necessary to close the digital divide and help prepare students for the community and workforce,” organizers said. “The plan calls for renovating the facility include indoor and outdoor experiential learning spaces & digital inclusion options for the community.”

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The total cost of all of the renovations the organization would like to do is around $5.1 million. Some funding has already been secured through fundraising and support from CareSource, Physician’s Charitable Trust and the State Community Resiliency Fund. They’ve also applied for five other grants and are awaiting responses.

“For more than 50 years, our mission at the Boys and Girls Club of Dayton (BGCD) has been an anchor and oasis focused on inspiring, developing and helping young people to reach their full potential because we believe that every child deserves a great future,” the organization said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Dayton was intentionally located in one of the “most resource-constrained neighborhoods in west Dayton” and the neighborhood around the club has two public housing developments with a little over 3,000 kids between ages 5 to 17, according to the organization.

The club provides programs and services to about 300 members including on-site, summer and after school programs that focus on life skills development, literacy activities, substance and violence abuse prevention, among other areas.

“These kids are among our city’s poorest, with over 60% of these children living in poverty. The risk factors facing these children are significant,” the club said in its application for funding to the Dayton Development Coalition. “Renovations would enable all programming spaces to be safe, fully operational and efficient and equipped with the technology necessary to close the digital divide and help best prepare students for the community and workforce, and helping each member reach their full potential.”

The DDC has identified the project as a regional priority for funding that would benefit the economic development, health or quality of life in the region.

According to the Boys and Girls Club of Dayton, 43 percent of the adult residents in the neighborhood nearby don’t have a high school diploma.

In addition, 90 percent of the kids living in these neighborhoods also living in a single-parent household and 80 percent of them receive free or reduced lunches.