Boys & Girls Club plans move to Adrian Middle School 5-6

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Adrian Design GroupBy Erik Gable
Posted Apr 18, 2010 @ 04:23 PM
ADRIAN, Mich. —

If all goes as planned, the Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee could have a new home next year: the Adrian Middle School 5-6 building, where the club first got its start 10 years ago.

An agreement between the Boys & Girls Club and Adrian Public Schools is scheduled to be presented to the school board Monday night. The agreement calls for a 25-year lease on the section of the building that now houses the swimming pool, which would be covered over and renovated.

Administrators with both groups said the move would expand the space available for the Boys & Girls Club, give AMS 5-6 students easier access to Boys & Girls Club programs, and save money for both the club and the school district.

The club’s current home in the city of Adrian’s Piotter Center is across the street from AMS 5-6.

“We’re going to have greater impact,” said Mike Kapnick, a Boys & Girls Club board member who chairs the club’s capital campaign and facilities committee. “It really is cost-efficient, not just for the club, but for Adrian Public Schools, and it really enhances the great partnership we have right now with the schools.”

Some highlights of the proposal, according to Kapnick, Boys & Girls Club executive director Dana Pink and Adrian Superintendent Chris Timmis:

— The Boys & Girls Club will gain a facility with controlled access, as opposed to the Piotter Center, which has three entrances and is shared with various other community groups. “One of the nice things about this is that it will give us a separate entrance just for the Boys & Girls Club,” Kapnick said.

— The club will also have more space. The current facility has a capacity of 88 children at any one time; the move would increase that capacity to 200. “Right now, we are at full capacity with the space that we have,” Kapnick said.

— In addition to the area now occupied by the pool, the club would gain access to other facilities in the AMS 5-6 building, including the gym, cafeteria, computer lab and classroom space. The district is also working on installing a Wii fitness room with donated equipment.

— The district will save money by closing the pool, which Timmis said costs about $49,000 per year to operate. The AMS 5-6 pool is by far the oldest of the district’s three pools, Timmis said.

— Students at AMS 5-6, many of whom already go to the Boys & Girls Club after school, will have easier access.

Timmis said the idea originated when the school board was going through its budget process last year and talking about the expense of maintaining swimming pools. Kapnick read a newspaper article about the discussion and called the district to suggest a partnership.

The Boys & Girls Club needs a permanent location that’s not as limited as its current home, Kapnick said, but does not want to build a new facility or own a property.

The cost of renovation will be borne by the Boys & Girls Club, which is about 45 percent finished with a $1 million capital campaign, Kapnick said.

Kapnick said the Boys & Girls Club has a history of solid financial management. Two years ago, he said, it absorbed the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in a move that saved $100,000 per year while maintaining the same level of service, and its annual budget, which for 2010 is $445,000, has proven to be a sustainable level that the community will support.

Timmis said many students at AMS 5-6 already use the Boys & Girls Club after school.

“The kids really like going there,” he said.

Membership is open to all?Lenawee County youth between the ages of 7 and 18.

Timmis said the move will make for better use of the facilities at AMS 5-6, a building he said is currently underutilized.

“It allows us to take space we’re not using after school and in the summer, and have it still used by kids,” Timmis said.

Financially, Pink said, the club will end up hiring a few more part-time employees, but also will no longer be paying $1,300 per month in rent to the city. The proposed agreement calls for a 25-year lease at a rate of $1 per year, with the Boys & Girls Club also chipping in its share of the building’s phone bill and custodial costs.

Timmis said the move will help the school district’s finances as well.

“We’re going to save money and help kids,” he said.

“Can’t get any better than that,” Pink said.