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Youth club eyes permanent home

Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe is gearing up to tackle one of its biggest projects ever, build an actual clubhouse

For nine years the club has operated out of buildings that were not designated specifically for the club.

But right now the Club has its sights set on leasing property at South Tahoe Middle School, where the old tennis courts are.



The Lake Tahoe Unified School District will review the Boys & Girls Club proposal at the Nov. 14 board meeting, according to Chief Financial Officer for the district Joe White.

“We have been working with the school district to work out a lease and the location is perfect,” said Jeff Tillman, Boys & Girls Club boardman. “The school district has been wonderful with the Boys & Girls Club, and they have really stepped up.”




The Boys & Girls Club has, for years, been accumulating private donations for a building fund, according to Mark Klover, board treasurer, but if the club secures the lease, additional funds will need to be acquired for construction.

“We would certainly get into a position where we would have to tap into other grant monies or tap into a capital campaign,” Tillman said. “I think if we get the lease, we will be going 100 mph forward.”

Part of building funds come from the annual golf tournament, which will be held October 12, at Edgewood Golf Course. This year Harvey’s Casino will partner the event.

“They have been excellent in supporting us,” Klover said.

Initially the club operated out of space provided in the five public elementary schools at South Shore, but about five years ago the club set up shop inside the South Tahoe Middle School. This, however, has the inherent limitations imposed when sharing a facility, such as sometimes programs must be shut down due to conflicts with school activities.

In 1998, the club expanded by setting up a satellite program at Lake Park Apartments in Stateline, where it utilizes a two bedroom apartment. The satellite program, however, is located in an apartment building that is scheduled for demolition, although an actual date has not been set.

“We will run a program at Lake Park as long as the building is standing, and hopefully if and when the apartments are removed, we will make an effort to find a new location on the Nevada side,” said Boys & Girls Club president Kathi Jensen. Even if the new Boys and Girls Club does get built on the California side, Jensen stressed the need for the children in Nevada to have a program in their own neighborhood.

There are about 1500 children in the program, rangimg in age from six to 18 years old, about 40 children frequent the Nevada location.

According to Jensen, the ideal club house would have classrooms, a gymnasium, computer labs, a social recreation room and offices.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB SEEKS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

A subcommittee of board members has narrowed the field of potential executive directors down to five candidates with whom the board is in the process of interviewing.

Candidates hail from all over California and from Utah. Some are executive directors at other Boys & Girls Clubs, some hold other high ranking positions at Boys & Girls Clubs, and the rest come from administrative backgrounds in their respective fields.

“We have some very strong candidates,” said Don Radford, interim executive director for the Boys & Girls Club, who is also a retired South Lake Tahoe Park and Recreation superintendent.

“It was really wonderful of him to take the position,” Jensen said of Radford. “He has done a wonderful job in filling in during our search, and with his administrative experience it was a godsend.”

The former executive director, Steve Conway, who was highly regarded, resigned on June 10. Radford took over two days later.

Qualities that the club is looking for in an executive director include administrative experience, grantsmanship and fundraising skills, Radford said.

The board hopes to select a new executive director by October.

“I want someone who can monitor the 21st century grant and be a go-getter as far as fundraising, and who will do anything they can to get a building up and who will run a quality program,” Jensen said.

BOYS & GIRLS STARTS FALL PROGRAM:

Meanwhile, Radford has been working to implement the 21st Century Grant by Sept. 11, the beginning of the school year.

The federal grant provides approximately $200,000 a year for the next three years and will be used in a partnership with the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. The grant will be used to enhance the after school program, which will provide tutorial programs and mentor programs in partnership with the school district and family services in the community, tackling issues such as family development, continued education and youth at risk.

“It will be a positive program for the community, and it will enhance the quality of life for people in the community,” Tillman said.

The summer program, which ended last Friday, will resume Sept. 11 and will run from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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