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Courtesy of Viridian Architectural Design Inc.
A rendering shows the larger clubhouse that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington will build.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington to address growth with bigger site

Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington has launched a $3.5 million campaign to replace its main clubhouse with a new one, the group announced Friday.

The agency is housed in a school building constructed in the 1920s and an adjacent church sanctuary built in the 1960s. Those would be replaced with a larger, more modern clubhouse.

Money already has come from corporate and individual sponsors from a yearlong, behind-the-scenes effort, said Mandy Reber, the agency’s executive director. Friday’s announcement opened the campaign to the public.

The fundraising campaign, which has reached 86 percent of its goal, is expected to be completed by late spring. Construction is expected to begin in June and be completed in six to nine months, Reber said.

Because of Parkview Huntington Hospital’s “major financial commitment,” the new facility will be renamed Parkview Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington, according to an agency statement released Friday. Reber declined to disclose the hospital’s contribution.

“We have been humbled by the unbelievable generosity of citizens in our community,” Ruth Marsh, campaign co-chair, said in the statement. “In these challenging economic times, members of our community have responded by making gifts that will not benefit them personally, but which will help boys and girls for many years to come. It is clear to me that our local citizens are truly generous and compassionate.”

The agency serves children in kindergarten through 12th grade from its main campus at 608 E. State St. It also has a second club in Warren. The clubs serve children from schools in Huntington County. About a third come from single-parent families and 80 percent are from low-income households, according to the agency.

Slightly more than $3 million has been raised for the project.

The club needs to expand because the number of youths visiting the main club has more than doubled in the last three years, up from an average of 76 a day in 2009 to 156 last year.

The agency will build and furnish the new clubhouse and buy adjacent houses for additional outdoor space and parking.

Money raised in the campaign will pay for some of the increased operating costs and interest on outstanding pledges, increase the agency’s endowment fund and cover other project expenses, according to the statement.

rshawgo@jg.net

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