The Club for Boys Capital Campaign: An Investment in Building Boys
"This campaign is both for safety and to ensure quality programming continues."
-Mark Hasvold President, Board of Directors
Building boys into good men describes the work of the Club for Boys. Every day we are working to build healthy, happy, smart, and caring boys. But now we also need to do a different kind of construction. The Club is undertaking a capital campaign for two reasons: to improve safety and security at the Club while upgrading our ability to provide quality programming.
For safety and programming concerns, the Club for Boys needs to renovate portions of two buildings, create a sport court, and invest in staff. The main building is located at 320 N. 4th St. and the Erickson Building (the old Thrift Store) is located beside it, facing 3rd Street. Overall, the construction part of the capital campaign includes a new roof over the main gymnasium, a remodel of the front lobby (both located in the main building),a renovation of the Erickson Building, and a Sport Court in underused space between the Erickson and main building. The fifth area of the capital campaign is to ensure quality programming by helping to recruit and retain quality staff by establishing a fund to allow the Club to offer health insurance and a retirement benefit.
Here is the overall summary:
Roof Replacement: The 25-year-old roof over the main gymnasium has been leaking for a couple of years and an initial assessment indicates it needs to be replaced. It is soft in sections and is of immediate concern. Patching continues to be done but the roof is becoming a potential hazard to those playing in the gym below.
Front Lobby Remodel: School shootings are all too frequent in today’s headlines. Club staff have had ALICE training and partly, through this training, it became clear that the lobby needs to be reconfigured to maximize security of the boys. The plan is basically to have front office staff in a secured area to monitor entry and exit from the Club for Boys. Currently the lobby is an empty room with front office staff located inside double doors in the Gamesroom. The main entry to the Club will be reconfigured with new double glass doors, a new enclosed front lobby desk, and new service windows. The existing front office will be extended. New technology and equipment will be added to facilitate checking boys in and out of the Club. In addition to better security, a remodeled lobby will permit better service for visitors to the Club and parents when they come to pick up their children. Boys can be served better by front office staff in a more secure, congenial lobby. The goal is to make the lobby a safe entry and exit location while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for those coming to the Club.
Erickson Building Renovation: The Erickson Building is adjacent to the Club and, up until 2013, housed the Thrift Store which has now moved to 960 Cambell St. Since that time, the building has been used for special events and some programming. The number of boys attending the Club each day has significantly increased over the past several years, necessitating an expansion of program space. For the first time in FY19, boys ages of 11-17 were 51% of the Club participants. With the increase in number of boys attending on a daily basis and the increase in older boys, it’s imperative that the Erickson Building be remodeled into a space suitable for older boys’ programming. The space will include a small teaching kitchen, a computer area, a study area, and a lounge. The outdoor program will also utilize of part of the Erickson for inside activities like making bows for archery, bird feeders, hatching butterflies, and other projects. Offices for the older boys program director and outdoor program director will also be included, as well as additional space for the Club’s maintenance staff.
Sport Court: Construction of a roof over the area between the Erickson Building and the Club’s main building would turn an unused area into important program space for additional physical activity. The existing area under the roof will be replaced with concrete and a sport court to permit basketball, archery, and other sports to take place outside in this area. The roof would also shelter buses and other vehicles as well as people going to and from the two buildings.
Investing in Staff:
The heart of the Club and the key to quality programming is staff. Full-time staff (both Club and Thrift Store) currently number 35, plus 21 part-time staff. The average years of service are 7.28 years at the Club and 6.29 years at the Thrift Store. Qualified, caring staff is a hallmark of the Club for Boys.
Access to health care in the U.S. is critical. In the past few years, the cost of company-provided health insurance has become astronomical and out of the Club’s reach. Such coverage is vital to keeping existing staff and to attracting new, well-qualified staff in the future. Staff need to be able to take care of themselves and their families and health insurance is vital to that effort. Health insurance estimates from several companies indicate the cost would be about $120,000 a year. About 25 current staff have indicated a need for health insurance. The plan is for staff to pay 25-33% of the cost and for the Club to pay the remaining.
This area of the capital campaign also has safety implications: as the number of boys coming to the Club increases, more staff are necessary to monitor their safety, yet, the lack of health insurance limits the number of total combined staff in the Club and the Thrift Store to 50. There are staff at the Club who have worked here most, if not all, of their working lives. These are people whom the Club treasures; the expertise they embody is an invaluable resource to quality programming. Providing a retirement benefit for staff helps keep and attract well-qualified, treasured employees. With regard to retirement benefits, these would be in the form of setting up 401Ks for employees who have worked a specified number of years at the Club. The Club would contribute an amount annually to the employee’s account based on the amount contributed by the staff member.
The intention is to set up a fund to help pay the Club’s portion of health insurance and retirement benefits for the first several years. During this time, the Club will work the cost of health insurance and retirement benefits into its budget to eventually be covered as a part of normal costs through donations, grants, and Thrift Store revenue.
Two million dollars is needed to achieve these goals of making the Club for Boys a safe, caring, and fun place for all boys. Please make this investment in building boys in our community.