Bond Commission in Hartford Approves $6.5 for Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich Renovations

The Connecticut Bond Commission met on Friday and approved $6.5 million for critical renovations of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich’s Clubhouse

In Greenwich, State Representatives Steve Meskers (D-150), Rachel Khanna (D-149), Hector Arzeno (D-151) and State Senator Ryan Fazio (R-36) applauded the approval of funding.

The funding is for critical renovations of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich’s Clubhouse. The necessary funding will be allocated toward renovated spaces that enhance programming. The ask is for 25% of the total project cost. The remainder of the funds needed to complete this capital project will come from private donors. The bonding is essential to complete the facility renovations and expansion to meet the growing demand for BGCG’s programs and services.

The Greenwich House Delegation worked proactively to make this funding a reality.

This included inviting House Speaker Matthew Ritter to visit the center, where he expressed how impressed he was with the work that the Boys & Girls Club does for the children of Greenwich and was very supportive of the initiative.

State Rep Meskers at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich with Greenwich First Selectman and Connecticut Speaker of the House Matt Ritter. Sept 29, 2022 Photo: Leslie Yager

They also submitted a letter of support to Governor Lamont to request the funding, visited and learned more about BGCG so the delegation could advocate in Hartford, and advocated for the funds with the Governor’s Office and House leadership.

‘The Boys & Girls Club has been an indispensable part of the community for many years, and I am pleased we are able to help with funding for expansion and renovations to enhance services,” Rep. Meskers said. “I am looking forward to the work ahead and thank our governor and leadership for prioritizing this item on the agenda.”

Just this week, Meskers addressed the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich. In his remarks he emphasized that early childhood education was critical to closing the achievement gap in the state and here in Greenwich.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is such a great asset to the town and its residents,” said Rep. Khanna. “I’m pleased that Governor Lamont and the Bond Commission see this as an important funding request.”

“Very few organizations have the long history of the Boys & Girls Club and the staff and associates that have been serving as role models and preparing youths for future generations,” Rep. Arzeno said. “I join my colleagues in thanking legislative leaders and the governor for their support.”

State Senator Ryan Fazio said in a statement, “For over 100 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich has transformed lives, equipping our youth with the skills, confidence, and resilience needed to succeed in the world. The grant means vital support for completing the capital campaign that will deliver a better BGCG than ever before.”

At the Clubhouse, critical infrastructure has not been addressed in the building in over 50 years. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and security systems are all outdated. Safety and security systems will all be updated for the well-being of children and staff.

A need to help ensure all kids are performing at grade level necessitates more educational spaces as plans include doubling the instructional floor. Plans also highlight a much-needed dedicated teen space and an additional athletic space.

The Boys & Girls Club is the largest non-profit organization in town serving over 300 youth daily. 79% come from families defined as low-income by HUD, 63% from Title I Schools, and 53% on free and reduced lunch. The Club supports the most diverse mosaic of children in Greenwich, with 80% of the everyday Club kids being kids of color.

Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is a game changer for over 1,800 children and teens in Greenwich by providing affordable quality after-school and summer programs to young people from diverse backgrounds. BGCG prepares our Club kids to become future leaders, responsible citizens, and engaged community members,” said Cristina Vittoria, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.

“We are incredibly grateful to the State of Connecticut, Governor Lamont, and the Greenwich Delegation for granting BGCG this funding to help support our renovation project,” Vittoria added. “This project will position Boys & Girls Club to serve the youth of Greenwich for another 100 years.”

The Club supports tweens, teens, and their families as they navigate the challenges facing youth today. Over 100 teens prepare for post-high school success by participating in SAT prep, college essay writing, resume writing, and regional college visits. In the past year, the Club provided social and emotional counseling to over 180 youth people. The Club has served over 500 elementary kids with robust academic enrichment during the school year and Summer Brain Gain during the summer to stem learning loss. The Club is one of the largest employers of young people in Greenwich, providing many of them with their first job and training them in safe youth development practices.

See also:

State Rep Meskers Addresses RMA: Job Growth, Housing, Tax Relief and Early Childhood Education June 29, 2023