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Victoria Boys & Girls Club could get upgrade

July 16, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Updated July 17, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Adam Shugart, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club in Victoria.

Adam Shugart, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club in Victoria.   Advocate file photo for The Victoria Advocate

The Victoria Boys & Girls Club could have cash to perform major building renovations during the next year as the result of federal grant money being divvied up by the city of Victoria.

Tuesday, the City Council is expected to discuss how it should spend more than $530,000 of federal grant money. About $265,000 of that is planned to be used to upgrade the Boys & Girls Club and build a new trail that will connect it to Hopkins Park and Hopkins Elementary School. The City Council must vote on the plan before it's enacted.

"We're pretty excited about it," said Adam Shugart, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. "It really couldn't have come at a better time."

The nonprofit, which helps at-risk youth, has spent months trying to figure out how to come up with the money to improve the center, said Shugart. The club needs to be repainted, have flooring redone and new lighting installed.

Shugart said nonprofit staff recently met with city officials to talk about funding possibilities and learned about a federal grant aimed at helping improve communities.

Each year, the federal government gives out hundreds of thousands of dollars to cities to help improve low-income and middle-class neighborhoods. Nonprofits can apply with cities to receive some of that money.

This year, the Boys & Girls Club applied for funding, and the city is recommending they be given $120,000.

The money will pay to fix four bathrooms, an equipment room, a snack room, a classroom and a couple of storage closets. Additionally, it will pay to install air conditioning in the dance room, weight room and two bathrooms that are currently unusable.

"We're going to stretch every dollar as far as we possibly can," said Shugart.

But the renovations to the facility aren't the only thing that will benefit the nonprofit, Shugart said. The city is planning to spend part of the federal grant to build a trail near the center, which will run through Hopkins Park.

The trail will cost about $145,000 and will include solar lighting in some areas. There will also be picnic tables and three covered pavilions, according to the city's plan.

In another agenda item, the City Council is planning to discuss using $442,000 in reserve money from revenues, such as property and sales tax, to operate the Riverside Golf Course for the next six months. In the meantime, the city is planning to allow private companies to compete to run the course starting in 2018.


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