The kids at the Capitol West Boys & Girls Club have peppered Maren Miller with questions about their proposed new building everyday for months.
They ask her if it will have a bigger gym, an art space or a large playground. Miller, whose been club director for 12 years, said the kids get more excited with every detail she gives them about the plan. Miller’s excited about the prospect of a new kitchen and big dining area.
“I could just keep going on about what this building means to this community, “ she said following the announcement of Capitol West Club’s new building Wednesday afternoon at the Rose Park facility.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake unveiled its first capital campaign in 15 years, which will rebuild the Capitol West Club and expand the Murray Clubhouse. The projects are intended to relieve overcrowding.
The organization hopes to raise $7 million and has already gathered $5.6 million with sizable donations from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation. The goal is to raise the remaining money by next summer and open the two new facilities by the end of 2018, said campaign manager Alan Bodily.
The Boys & Girls Club serves more than 7,000 members each year across its eight locations in Salt Lake, Tooele and Carbon counties. The organization offers after-school and summer programs with dues around $20 per year.
Although private fundraising for the projects began in February, the campaign has been about six years in the making. A 2011 planning study showed that the neighborhoods surrounding the Capitol West Club had more children in need than could be accommodated at the existing building.
Capitol West will move to 129 North 600 West, about two blocks from its current location. The Club will have double the square footage and capacity of the existing building to more than 19,500 square feet and 1,400 children respectively.
Not only will the new Capitol West Club have a bigger gym, Miller said it will have a separate cafeteria, a secure outdoor playground, computer labs and a large performance arts space with a stage to host community events.
The Murray Clubhouse will add more classrooms, activity rooms and community space to its existing location. The additions will help reduce the club’s waitlist and allow more children to enroll in their out-of-school programs.
Both locations have been working at or over capacity for the better part of a decade. Capitol West serves about 150 kids daily, half of them teens, and meets or exceeds its enrollment every year. The Murray Club works with about 120 children daily and has a waitlist of more than 60 kids for its out-of-school programs.
Miller is anxious for the new building’s cafeteria and outdoor eating space. The club serves dinner every night, but they can’t all eat in the same room at their current facility due to its confined space.
“For some kids, this is their one hot meal of the day and they might not have that experience at their house,” she said. “Being able to sit at the table, family style, and share dinner is really important to me.”