Construction Begins on New Clubhouse

Construction on the new clubhouse for the Moses Lake Boys and Girls Club began this month, and the club supporters marked the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The new clubhouse, a $2.8 million project, will be next door to Park Orchard Elementary School, 417 Paxson Dr. A new clubhouse has been a dream for years, said P.J. De Benedetti, who’s on the fundraising committee. “We’re getting close now,” De Benedetti said Monday of the fundraising effort.

Completion could come by the end of 2013, De Benedetti said

The current clubhouse is on Third Street downtown, and that space just isn’t big enough any more, said Boys and Girls Club board member Don McGraw. The club has had to limit growth due to space issues, he said.

The bigger clubhouse will allow expansion and the addition of some new services, McGraw said. And construction is imminent.

“We’re shovel-ready. We’re ready to go,” said club Director Brant Mayo. Contractors are still working out the exact date, but the work begins in May, Mayo said.

The relationship between the Moses Lake School District and the club has been an important reason the new clubhouse is moving forward, De Benedetti said. The Boys and Girls Club will have access to school district property when school is closed, and the district will be able to use the clubhouse when Boys and Girls Club is closed, Mayo said.

The Boys and Girls Club helps out parents that, for whatever reason, can’t be home after school, and the club gives those families help staying on track, McGraw said.

The Moses Lake club has had a lot of support locally, McGraw said, and built good partnerships with local service organizations as well as the school district. Key support has come from local legislators, who helped obtain construction grants, he said.

State Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, said it was pretty easy to get support in the state Legislature, because the project had so much community support. The state can’t do it all, Warnick said, which is why the community is so important. “That sells it to me,” she said.

Currently the legislature is considering a $300,000 construction grant for the club for 2013, but that hasn’t been finalized, she said.

To complete the project, the Boys and Girls Club is trying to close the remaining funding gap.

“It’s been a long road. We’re not done yet,” Mayo said.

Any and all donations are accepted. “We’ve had large gifts and we’ve had small gifts, and they all help,” De Benedetti said. People can take donations to the current clubhouse, 410 West Third St., Moses Lake, or contact Mayo, 509-764-9694.

By Cheryl Schweizer, Columbia Basin Herald

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