The Boys and Girls Club of American Canyon is only a few months away from opening its new, larger clubhouse off Benton Way, though the organization is still seeking contributions to complete its capital campaign to fund construction.
The 15,000-square-foot clubhouse is scheduled to open its doors next spring, according to Area Director Jaime Gallegos. It will replace the 1980s-era portable school building — which was 3,000-square-feet — that the club used for nearly 20 years.
Complete with computers, other technology and children’s programs, the new clubhouse has been under construction since April, and is shaping up nicely.
“It’s a beautiful building,” Gallegos told the Parks and Community Services Commission on Nov. 9. “It will have enough space for all the kids we anticipate using it.”
Average daily attendance for the new clubhouse is expected to be 250-300 children, said Gallegos, who provided a brief glimpse into the many rooms and centers being developed.
The club is planning to have 30 computers and possibly a few 3-D printers in the Technology Center. It will also sport a separate room for STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] work and robotics.
Additionally, they’re planning to have an aviation program with flight simulators. The club is working on forming a partnership with the Napa County Airport to bring pilots in to talk to kids.
“We’re looking at things that are above and beyond from what we did in the past,” Gallegos said. “We’re dreaming big and swinging for the fences.”
Gallegos said the Games Room will represent the “heart” of the new clubhouse. It will have multiple pool and ice hockey tables, plus an area for kids to work with Legos and games.
“This will be the loudest room in the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.
This room will serve as a library, where kids can do homework, read, or other academic programs.
“We find we have different kids,” said Gallegos. “You have kids who want to play pool the whole time, you have kids who want to go outside. We also have quieter kids — this is their comfort zone [the Education Center]. We try to have a room for every kind of kid.”
Early Childhood Learning Center
The 1,300-square-foot Early Childhood Learning Center will help fill a need in the community, according to Gallegos.
“There’s not a lot of preschools out there [in American Canyon],” he said. “We’re looking to have a morning program in here, and after school transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students will come here.”
The club is searching for a license preschool operator to run the center.
Middle school students are expected to fill the Teen Center, which will have televisions, video games, and other technology to enjoy.
“There’s not a lot for them in the community after school,” Gallegos said. “They’re just walking around” looking for something to do.
During weekdays the club will use the Community Center to feed kids snacks, or conduct programs such as cooking or yoga. It will have a 500-square-foot commercial kitchen.
But in the evenings and on weekends, the Parks and Recreation Department will use this room for their programs. Accordion walls will allow the Community Center to be as large as 3,000 square feet and accommodate up to 250 people seated.
The city of American Canyon helped finance this part of the clubhouse with a $350,000 contribution to the capital campaign.
The Boys and Girls Club is still trying to raise about $1.5 million to finish paying for the project, according to Patrick Harmon, capital campaign manager.
It had originally budgeted $4.6 million for the work. But delays in construction and higher than anticipated contractor costs resulted in the budget going up to $5.825 million, Harmon said.
Total raised to date is almost $4.3 million. The Napa Valley Vintners, whose name will be on the clubhouse, committed $2 million to the campaign.