The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is seeking help from the community to repair the McCann Boys and Girls Clubhouse.
The club’s board of directors is looking for help from the community to help pay for the fixes, expected to cost an estimated $2 million.
“Every little bit helps,” said Scott Bradford, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. “This goal is more than a renovation; it is about the community and building a sense of pride and ownership to the kids who frequent this building. This is our opportunity to show them they are important.”
The club hopes to complete the repairs over the next two years.
More than 1,000 boys and girls use the McCann Boys and Girls Clubhouse on 430 McArthur Avenue. The high costs for renovating the building have been estimated in the millions because of its age.
“It has been fixed as much as we can,” he said. “It is at the end of its lifecycle and we want to upgrade the building.”
Bradford said the clubhouse is in a high-need area and is integral to creating a strong community. It also provides a place to go for children and youth living in the area.
With $222,000 already secured from a provincial grant, and another $1-million federal grant now under consideration. Bradford said the club is working hard at getting the funding, but there still remains almost $800,000 gap, which the club said it hopes the corporate community and Ottawa community will help fill.
The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa has served the Ottawa since 1923, reaching out to 4,500 children and youth each year through after-school, weekend and summer programs that build selfesteem and help children develop stronger social skills.
“We see this as a community hub, a community centre, more than just for kids programming,” Bradford said. “There is always something going on in the building.”
Once the renovations are underway, the programming at the McArthur location would be moved. Bradford said the club would make sure programming would stay in the community with an aim to get the space from its partnering schools and centres.
This is not the first time the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa has undertaken major renovations to one of its clubhouses. Almost two years ago, the Britannia Boys and Girls Clubhouse reopened its doors after a $1.2-million renovation to the building.
Bradford said the higher price tag for the McCann clubhouse renovations has to do with the amount of work which needs to be done, such as upgrades to the building and air conditioning.
The fundraising team, assembled with a slate of board members and local community members, including Senator Vern White and Robert McElligott will be working on fundraising events in the upcoming months.
Bradford encourages the community to donate, stating every dollar counts to help the clubhouse reach its goal.
The aim is to have the renovations complete by mid-2014. Ambitious, Bradford admits, but a goal the club believes is possible.