Ground breaks on new Boys & Girls Club

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | April 6, 2021

BELOIT — “The Club keeps going.”

That’s what Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard Jr. said after a groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday at the new Beloit facility at 202 Maple Ave. The momentous day followed the club raising funds during the pandemic while providing programming and distance learning support for children.

Packard commended the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Mark Rand and staff.

“They are unbelievably hard working people and their heart is truly in it,” Packard said.

The groundbreaking was kicked off with a prayer from Pastor Sherrick Anderson, who was part of the capital campaign committee.

Board President Tim Schmiechen said he was excited the club would offer children the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“I can’t imagine a better use for this land,” added Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis-Luther.

In August the Beloit City Council had approved the sale of land to the Stateline Boys & Girls Club for $1, according to an earlier article.

Beloit City Council President Regina Dunkin said the Club was investing in today’s youth to make tomorrow’s leaders.

“You are safe, valued, loved and respected right here at the Boys & Girls Club,” Dunkin said to the children in attendance. “It’s a tremendous asset to the Beloit students and the entire community.”

“It’s a great day in the history of our clubs and our community,” Rand said.

Following the ceremonial turning of the dirt, attendees enjoyed lunches, water and Club T-shirt available for the crowd.

Despite the pandemic, members of the Stateline Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign forged ahead with the $5.5 million capital campaign aimed at building a new facility in Beloit and upgrading the Stateline Boys & Girls Club site in South Beloit.

In an earlier interview Rand said he is confident in the Clubs’ ability to open the new Beloit facility in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Stateline Boys & Girls Club is building its new Beloit facility at 202 Maple Ave., 1500 Shore Drive and a northern portion of 1459 Sixth St. across from Beloit Memorial High School. The Stateline Boys & Girls Club has 1,200 members, but Club officials expect an increase in membership in coming years.

The current Beloit building is on the far west side of town at 1851 Moore St. The focus will be for the new facility to be more centrally located along the Fourth Street corridor to be closer to community partners, in particular the Beloit Memorial High School’s student population. Not only will the new site expand its reach to teens, but will be more visible and accessible as it will be located on school bus routes.

The new facility would offer expanded STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities, increased teen programming and allow for increased capacity to reach more youth. The center would also allow for community collaborations for career exploration and cooking classes and more.