Columbia Boys and Girls Club Opens New Center

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COLUMBIA - The Boys and Girls Club opened a new youth development center in Columbia Friday afternoon on the 15th anniversary of the club's existence in Columbia.

The new center is at 1200 North 7th St., right across from Hickman High School, and has a new basketball court and playground.

The opening kicked off with a presentation from those involved with the project and ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. After the opening ceremony, those involved led tours around the new building.

The University of Missouri men's and women's basketball teams, along with their coaches, came to the event. In addition, board members and other community partners like Little Dixie construction, which built the center, showed up for the event.

The Boys and Girls Club is the only after school youth development agency in Columbia open for five hours every weekday, and serving a nutritional meal while providing nationally accredited programs.

With the help of community members, the club raised $800,000 through donations and sponsors. Executive Director Valorie Livingston said the club hopes to raise another $150,000 to pay off other construction costs and pay for a new music room.

In addition, they hope to recruit students from Hickman High School across the street to become members.