NEW BRITAIN â€“ Kidsâ€™ main gathering area inside the cityâ€™s Boys & Girls Club will be renovated in the spring thanks to a $90,378 grant from the American Savings Foundation.
When they come into the clubhouse at 150 Washington St. after school, this is the room they enter and where they meet up with friends. Itâ€™s known as the game room, but itâ€™s also the main lobby, the dining hall and the true focal point of activities at the New Britain Boys & Girls Club.
â€śWeâ€™re excited to have the floor done and we appreciate American Savings always stepping up when we need something,â€ť Club Executive Director James Jones said.
The independent charitable endowment organization has presented over $67 million in total grants and scholarships to organizations and individuals in 64 towns across Central Connecticut over the last 25 years.
The New Britain Boys & Girls Clubâ€™s Smart Girls program has benefitted from a foundation gift in the past.
The floor inside the clubhouse game room was installed back in 1973 and is showing its wear and tear. This grant will pay for an entirely new concrete subfloor as well as a new tile floor. Once complete, the walls of the room will be painted and a grand unveiling will take place.
Staff wanted to make sure they could still keep the club open during the renovation project because itâ€™s vital to the kids they serve. Regular hours during the school year are Mon.-Fri. 3-7 p.m. and Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
â€śWe can utilize our other rooms and hopefully weâ€™ll be able to be outside as well,â€ť Jones said.
Clubhouse renovations have been ongoing over the last year or so. The pool, which had been closed for several years, was repaired and reopened. Members are also now enjoying new games and activities, Wi-Fi and new furniture.
The remaining funds after the floor is replaced will be used to support smaller capital improvements throughout the facility, including a snow blower and new tables and chairs. There is also a window in the pool area that needs resealing and 12 wall pads that need to be replaced in the gymnasium.
Jones hopes the refurbished game room will not only benefit the kids who come to the clubhouse every day after school, but also serve as a gathering place for different groups and events.
â€śWe create space for families to grow without limitations, elevating communities by building a future with equity for all,â€ť he said. â€śI hope our game room will bring our community together.â€ť
The ASFâ€™s capital grant program provides for these types of infrastructure projects, which are always necessary but can strain an organizationâ€™s budget.
â€śWe know a lot of agencies have a particular need for infrastructure improvements â€“ things you need to invest in that can be hard to find funds for,â€ť Foundation President and CEO Maria Falvo said.â€ťWeâ€™re so proud to support those needs this year.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.