Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City set to build new facility

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JEFFERSON CITY - After announcing it passed its $2.2 million funding goal earlier this month, the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City is preparing to build its new facility starting in January 2016.

Executive Director Stephanie Johnson said so far, the Boys and Girls Club has raised about $2.5 million in the past year to go to the new building.

"It's more than our original goal, so that we can complete this new Boys and Girls Club facility. We're just so excited," Johnson said.

The new building will hold 300 of the 400 children the group serves. In the building there will be classrooms, music rooms, a game room, a teen center for the older children, a recording studio, a playground and access to the athletic facilities nearby.

The new building will be on Lincoln University's campus in Jefferson City. Johnson said many of the volunteers go to LU, and both the students and children can learn a lot from each other by working together.

"It's going to show the kids that college is possible for them. A lot of people grow up with the Boys and Girls Club. We are like their family," Johnson said.

Currently, the Boys and Girls Club's main location is on Elm Street, but Johnson said the location is too small for the growing group. Additionally, MoDOT purchased the land, and keeping the building on Elm Street would interfere with the construction for the new Lafayette Interchange.

"It's just a wonderful facility for the kids in Jefferson City," Johnson said.

The name of the building will be the Frankie and Billie Railton Center, named after the largest donor. 

David Turner is the Chairman and CEO of Hawthorn Bank, and he said he knew the Railton family personally. He said their generosity is an example to everyone.

"They love children. They love Jefferson City. When they retired, they didn't go anywhere. They stayed right here and wanted to give this trust to charitable causes in Jefferson City," Turner said.

The Boys and Girls Club had its official groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, and numerous donors and members of the community attended.

The campaign to raise the funds began a year ago, consisting of donations from businesses and individuals to help raise the funds for the children of the Boys and Girls Club.

Johnson said, "It's their second home, and if that second home and that family is located in an environment of higher learning, it's going to be an opportunity for them to realize their potential by going to school themselves."

Johnson said weather will play a large role in when construction takes place, but the latest she expects it to begin will be in February. She said the construction time will take about 10 months, putting the completion date around November 2016.

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