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Neighbors seek to stop construction of after-school kids club

Campaigners say club will be out of place at new site.

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The Community Development Department is recommending approval of the club’s use permit and site plan.

The lot has been used for public purposes since 1881, when Sandy’s first schoolhouse was built there. Then came a high school, city hall, library and senior center. That center was demolished in 1998 because of structural damage and electrical problems.

At a glance

What’s next

The Sandy Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to approve a conditional-use permit and site plan for the Sandy Club at a meeting beginning at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 10000 Centennial Parkway. The meeting will take place in Room 341 at the east end of the building.

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Under a contract with Sandy, the land and the building on it would become the city’s property if the club ever ceases operations.

On Friday, the club was filled with children playing games, doing homework and showing off their skills in the weekly talent show. They talked about how much they liked participating in the activities and seeing their friends.

"This is a safe place and I like being here," 6-year-old Miguel Villa said.

Lilibeth Galeana has been coming to the club since she was 6 years old. Now 19, she is a staff member there and the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the club that will allow her to study for a bachelor’s degree at Westminster College after completing her sophomore year at Salt Lake Community College.

"They helped to prepare me for college," Galeana said of the club employees and volunteers. "They mentored me my whole life."

Councilman Dennis Tenney, who serves as the liaison between the Sandy Club and the City Council, praised the club staff and volunteers for teaching youths respect, discipline and leadership skills.

"I’m convinced that once that facility is in, those who are the most ardent opponents will be the biggest supporters," Tenney said. "This club performs an invaluable function. It fills a huge humanitarian and social and educational need for children."

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Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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