Boys & Girls Club breaks ground on new facility
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Boys and Girls Club of Copperas Cove will be getting a new permanent home on its own property, thanks to an anonymous donor of the land.
The organization held a groundbreaking ceremony for the three-acre lot at the corner of Laura Street and Robertson Avenue Thursday morning, with more than 30 people attending. Through a six-year plan, the lot will eventually house the club’s permanent facility, gymnasium and more.
“We’re here today to celebrate great futures,” said Daniel Hall, the vice president of resource development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas. The Boys and Girls Club of Copperas Cove has been around for 25 years and has never had a permanent home, he added.
“We’ve lived, survived through peaks and valleys through the generosity of community partners,” Hall said.
Those community partners include Copperas Cove Independent School District, which has a contract with the club allowing the use of the two junior high schools for an after-school program, and previously had a contract allowing the use of the Fairview side of Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School. More recently, a newer community partner includes Fairivew Community Church, which opened its doors after the club was no longer able to utilize the elementary school; Cove Meadows Management Corporation; and the Exchange Club.
Currently, there are more than 725 members involved in the organization, with the Fairview Community Church site serving at least 140 youth per day, Hall said.
“Candidly, I struggle to define what we do quite often and it’s because we do so much,” Hall told the crowd. “We do whatever it takes to provide these kids a great future.”
Hall revealed the preliminary site plan which shows that by the end of 2019, the goal is to have two 125-foot by 75-foot portable buildings to act as the club facilities temporarily as well as building parking, a playground and fencing in a portion of the land.
To accomplish this, the organization needs to raise $100,000 by the end of this fall. Hall shared that $75,000 has already been committed.
Phase 2 involves adding a 4,000 square-foot gymnasium and teen center by the end of 2021, to the tune of an estimated $700,000.
“That will be a monumental development for our Copperas Cove club because currently we do not have a dedicated space or the dedicated staff to provide a teen program,” Hall said.
Teens are the ones that need the club’s services the most, he added.
The organization hopes to have a target date of 2025 for the opening of the actual permanent club facility, which will be modeled after the Boys and Girls Club of Gatesville.
Khrystal Westeen, the Unit Director for the BGCTX, said it was hard to describe what a new permanent facility means.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Westeen said. “It means we’ll have somewhere that’s ours.”
The site she oversees at the Fairview Community Church has an average daily attendance of 100 to 125 kids, with 325 registered members. With this permanent home, the organization will be able to help more youth, Westeen said.
“It’s just been a long time and much needed,” she added.
Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz addressed the crowd before youth with the Boys and Girls Club joined board members and employees in shoveling dirt as part of the ceremony.
“We are so very excited for this day,” Diaz said about the city officials and staff. “It’s a good day for Copperas Cove. It’s a good day for the kids of Copperas Cove.”
For those interested in donating to the Boys and Girls Club of Copperas Cove, visit bgctx.org, click the Donate Now button and select Copperas Cove as the designation. People can also contact the organization through their Facebook page or attend an upcoming fundraising event to be announced later.