Construction For A New Boys & Girls Club Begins

One Houston Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club severely damaged by Hurricane Ike is going to be rebuilt from scratch. Local officials broke ground on the new facility today. Bill Stamps has more.
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It was a groundbreaking ceremony some say was long overdue. The old Boys and Girls Club located in the Garden City Apartment Complex was smaller than an average school classroom, but it served children in the neighborhood and was said to have a big impact on their lives. Terranye Oveshown is a future law student who used to go to the club regularly.

"There were times where things were so bad that you wouldn’t have any hope. But thanks to the Boys and Girls Club, they helped us to see a different perspective on life, and values, and religion, and even education. What they instilled in us was to think of education as a way out. Our circumstances are only temporary, but we’re in control of our destiny."

When Hurricane Ike damaged the old building and the apartment complex it was located in, the Salvation Army began looking for alternatives. Two years later, they’re breaking ground on the new facility that will be bigger and better. This Doug Smith who runs all the clubs in the Houston area.

"They’ll be getting homework help. There will be drug and alcohol prevention classes, computer learning opportunities. There will be some sports programs, physical activities inside and outside. We will have a gym."

State Representative Sylvester Turner was at the ceremony to show his support. But he says it’s the kids who live in the area who need supporting.

"You know, you just can’t tell kids to say no. You have to give them something to say yes to. And this is what this does."

The new club will be more than 12-thousand square feet and is expected to open next summer.