Boys & Girls Club Opens New Facility Where YMCA Stood
A new state-of-the-art Boys and Girls Club opened its doors Tuesday on the site of the old Reno YMCA at 1300 Foster Drive, across from Reno High School. The event was a preview for community leaders and those who worked on the building during its construction.
Some kids from Hunter Lake Elementary School also had a chance to check out the shiny new facility. "This is a good place where kids can just be kids," said 6th grader Zoe Ashbrook, who was checking out the new climbing wall and the dance studio.
The William N. Pennington Facility has everything from air hockey to computers. The Pennington Foundation donated $9 million to the project. "Bill Pennington would be just crying he'd love it so much," said Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.
Reno City Councilwoman Sharon Zadra remembers having some of the first discussions about the project 2-1/2 years ago. "Fellow councilmember Dan Gustin came to the rest of us and said ‘This is what we need in this community.’ The neighbors told us the same thing," she said.
The 55,000-square-foot building will serve about 3,000 new kids from 12 area schools after school and during school vacations. Boys and Girls Club board member and Washoe County District Attorney, Dick Gammick, says it’s a place where kids can have fun, mingle and learn to get along with others. "Mainly it's a place for kids to be safe, and in today's world they need a lot of that," he said.
Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Mike Wurm thanked everyone who helped the dream become reality. "It goes beyond the Boys and Girls Club,” he said. “This property and the history that the YMCA had here and the services these families needed created a sense of urgency in this community and really pulled this project together quickly," he explained.
The building has separate rooms for teens, tweens and younger kids. Hunter Lake Elementary 6th grader Isis Noble hopes to take advantage of the camps and programs when the facility opens in June. “I like everything. It's amazing. It's a big play place for everyone," she said.
The goal is to support our local youth with a place they can learn and have fun. Bob Cashell he wishes he could be a kid again. "I probably couldn't do the hoops but I could really enjoy this place," he said, laughing.
The building is also home to the new Link Piazzo Non Profit Center which will provide office space for local non-profits. The new facility on Foster Drive will hold an open house Wednesday, May 21st from 5 pm to 9 pm. Written by Jennifer Burton