Boys and Girls Culb eyeing site for clubhouse |

Boys and Girls Culb eyeing site for clubhouse

Mary Thompson

The empty and crumbling tennis courts near the intersection of Rufus Allen Boulevard and Lyons Avenue may become the future site of a clubhouse for the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.

Board members from the Boys and Girls Club presented the idea to the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, which owns the property and dilapidated tennis courts, at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

No solid plans have been drawn up, but Jensen said the club would like to build a 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot facility on the 26,000-square-foot tennis court property that is owned by the school district.

The club, which offers academic, sports and social events for youth between the ages of 6 and 18 years old, currently does not have a facility of its own. It uses LTUSD facilities and also operates out of Stateline’s Lake Park Apartments – which are scheduled for demolition as part of the Kingsbury low-income housing project.

The area where the 180-unit housing complex stands will be eventually converted to a stormwater retention pond.

Kathi Jensen, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, said the board will maintain a site in Nevada after the demolition of the apartments, but the details haven’t been worked out yet.

According to Jensen, the old tennis courts at South Tahoe Middle School’s playing fields, which are choked by weeds and the cracking after weathering many Tahoe winters, would make a perfect site for a Boys and Girls Club facility on the California side.

“It’s just really central and very accessible to the community,” she said. “With a new facility, we would always have a safe place for kids to go and events would never get canceled. We could also offer a lot of different programs with a permanent facility.”

Brad Bennett, South Lake Tahoe chief of police and fire, and Boys and Girls Club board member, told the school board the whole community could profit from the clubhouse venture.

“Crime prevention efforts need to be aimed at the kids,” he said. “The more programs for the kids, the safer the community.”

Each year, about 1,500 youth in the South Shore communities use the Boys and Girls Club programs, which include teen nights, leadership groups, theater productions, sports teams and competition, computer lab time and homework sessions. Membership dues are $10 per year per child.

But the majority of the funding for the Boys and Girls Club comes from community sponsors. One of last year’s largest donations – about $30,000 – came from Bill Cosby when he hosted a benefit show and donated the proceeds to the local organization.

The Boys and Girls Club is seeking a 99-year lease agreement with the school district. Construction, maintenance, repairs and snow removal would be paid for by the club.

Superintendent Rich Alexander said he would work with the district’s attorneys in drawing up a proposed lease agreement to bring to the school board for action possibly in September.

If approved by the school board, construction of the clubhouse would likely occur in phases as more money becomes available to the club through fund-raising efforts. All construction, because it falls on school property, would have to adhere to the standards of school facilities imposed by the state.

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