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Boys and Girls Club will meet at McPolin Elementary

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

The Boys and Girls Club of Park City has found a new home, for now.

Starting Sept. 5 they will meet at McPolin Elementary School. The organization needed to relocate because the building they had been using at City Park is being renovated.

"Our arrangement to run our program in McPolin is temporary for this year only while the city building is under construction," said Boys and Girls Club Director LeAnn Saldivar.

At the Park City School Board meeting on Aug. 15 the board voted unanimously to allow an exception to a policy that prohibits long-term rentals of school property.

The club is renting space at McPolin Elementary for a reduced rate. Community Education Director Judy Tukuafu explained this is because their program benefits students. She is not concerned the school will loose potential revenue by renting the space to the Boys and Girls Club of Park City.

The club will use the multi-purpose room until 5:30 p.m. on school days. Tukuafu said they have also agreed not to use the kitchen, comply with school district policies and have good supervision of students at all times.

Saldivar said the organization began offering programs in Park City in 2001 by helping with homework and study time in the two middle schools. In 2004 the club began leasing a building at City Park and expanded their operations to include children in grades first through twelfth.

Because of space limitations they are putting a cap at 45 elementary school children each day. Pre-registration is being offered to current club members, and the remaining spots will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Older students may be included as well.

"We’re hoping to have some limited opportunities for junior high and high schools students as aides," Saldivar said.

They will participate through the Leaders in Training program.

"The Leaders in Training program is a job readiness program that is designed to be a mock work experience," Saldivar said.

The students act as junior staff and learn how to work with supervisors, dress appropriately and become familiar with accountability through their time sheets. This will most likely not take shape until later in the school year.

As the months pass, the Boys and Girls Club will be trying to determine if there is a need for the organization in Park City. Saldivar said one thing she would like to avoid is overlapping with similar clubs that provide services to youth.

A survey they conducted with current members asked what they had done over the summer while the Boys and Girls Club of Park City was closed and Saldivar said 90-percent did nothing.

"They stayed home," she said.

Saldivar surmised this was because some services are very expensive in this area or may not be as accessible as the Boys and Girls Club.

Similar data will be collected in the fall to establish if the Boys and Girls Club of Park City is necessary.

Once that has been determined, Saldivar said they would like to find a larger location. On average their other locations vary in size from 8,000 18,000 square feet.

"Ideally, in order to serve both elementary-age and teen kids a building that could segregate those populations with access to a shared gymnasium, kitchen and multipurpose is ideal," Saldivar said.

This would also allow the organization to remain open during the summer. In the past they have needed to vacate the City Park location to make room for the city youth programs, and the organization only has use of McPolin Elementary School through the end of the school year.

"The number one thing we have had requested is for summer programs and longer hours," Saldivar said.

She is in the process of forming a steering committee to help with fundraising efforts and finding a new location. Saldivar said Jim Shea has expressed an interest in helping.

For more information about the Boys and Girls Club call (801) 322-4411 or visit http://www.bgcgsl.org .


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