Boys & Girls Club planning for post-pandemic needs

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | February 25, 2021

BELOIT — As the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs in Beloit and South Beloit forge ahead with a capital plan to build a new facility in Beloit, they are developing a tactical plan to best support the community in a post-pandemic world.

It’s been an unusual year for the club as it’s provided distance learning support for School District of Beloit students during the day in addition to after-school support to area youth.

“This is the first time in Stateline Boys & Girls Club’s 66-year history that we have been open for all-day programming throughout the school year,” said CEO Mark Rand. “When all is said and done, we will have been open for all-day programming for approximately 18 months. This is a true testament to the hearts of our staff. They made it possible.”

From Sept. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, the Beloit club served 129 youth with an average 49 children served per day.

It has been unable to serve 43 children due to capacity limits.

Due to the increased usage of the building, staffing was a challenge as hours increased. Extra costs included staffing, supplies, utilities and technology upgrades.

Members of the Stateline Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign are forging ahead with the $5.5 million capital campaign aimed at building a new facility in Beloit and upgrading the South Beloit site.

“In spite of the current pandemic, we’ve been able to maintain great momentum in securing pledges and support,” said Campaign Committee Chair Jim Packard Jr. “We are appreciative of the commitments and generosity we’ve seen thus far.”

With groundbreaking planned in early April, 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 will build 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 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.

The new facility will be 23,780-square-feet compared to its existing space in Beloit of 16,000 square feet which was built in 1960.

The clubs currently have 1,200 total members. With the expanded Beloit facilities, Rand expects the membership could increase by 25-35%.

The Campaign can be followed on the Club’s website for updates or to make donations. For more information, contact Rand at 608-365-8874 or [email protected].