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Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore break ground on new clubhouse

breaking ground.jpg
Daniel Boothe
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Multi-million dollar effort will renovate YMCA building on Muskegon Lake.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore broke ground this week on a new facility, that officials say, will double its efforts to serve area youth.

According to club, $9 million of donated money will go towards gutting and renovating the former YMCA building along Muskegon Lake and transforming it into the non-profit’s new clubhouse.

“It is amazing, so we started as a club in 2014, and here in 2022, we went from serving 30 kids a day in the basement of Nelson Elementary (School,) and with this new facility we will be able to serve 300 kids a day just at this site.”

Monica Turnbull, is the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore’s chief executive officer. She says the new facility will provide underserved area youth a place to work-out, swim, learn and hang out, but most importantly a place to go where they will feel valued and supported.

“It is such a life-changer, we provide a safe place to go after school for so many kids in the county,” Turnbull said. “And that includes giving them a snack, a meal, homework help, all sorts of things you name it. It is just so wonderful to see kids walk in the door, and they are so happy to be here because this is a fun place to be.”

Officials say, “renovations of the 45-year-old building will undergo a transformation from the inside and out, including an update of the HVAC system and adding a geothermal energy source. The project will also include multiple universal changing rooms with lockers and showers, fitness studios, a state-of-the-art STEM lab, outdoor recreation areas, youth fishing pier and a commercial kitchen.

It is expected to be completed by fall of next year.

The facility will be free and continue to house the Neal Fitness Center, an aquatics center, Bob & Merle Scolnik Boys & Girls Club, Shape Corp Teen Zone, and i’move. Additionally, the building will feature an administration wing sponsored by the Olthoff Family that will offer shared office space for additional community partners.