Boys & Girls Club launching $2.2 million campaign for new facility

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Boys & Girls Club in Jefferson City launched a $2.2 million campaign Monday to build a new facility.

Dan Westhues, the co-chair for the fund-raising campaign said many of the children view the Boys & Girls Club as their second home, which is why building a new facility is important.

"We went out to look for people to work on our capitol campaign. We let them interact with the children," Westhues said. "The response from the community to, ‘Yes, we've got to build this building so these children can continue having this amazing experience as their second home,' was amazing."

The new facility will be housed on Lincoln University's campus and will have new services and amenities to better meet the children's needs.

"The biggest thing we get to do is bring all the children under one roof," Westhues said. "Today we have our normal club for the young students and we have our teen center at a different location. Now that we have a new building, we're going to bring all of those kids to one building."

New amenities include a kitchen and cafeteria to feed the children a hot dinner, the opportunity for a mentorship program with Lincoln University students and a new technology center.

State-approved construction of a new interchange forced the Boys & Girls Club to relocate, and the club currently uses local schools to host activities for the children.

Construction is expected to break ground this summer, and the new facility is estimated to open in August 2016.