The Boys and Girls Club of Marshall County will be able to move forward with a construction project following a presentation to members of the Plymouth Common Council Monday evening.
John Oliver, President of the Board of Directors and Billie Treber, Executive Director of the local club told members the Boys and Girls Club in Plymouth has been a cornerstone of the community since 1995 when the Isban’s chartered a club.
Thousands of kids have been touched at the club over those 21 years and over 700 kids were served last year at the club that operates in a 1940’s restaurant that serves as the club. Oliver said they are operating at capacity and due to size constraints they are the only club in Indiana that doesn’t handle kids ages 5 to 7.
A “Blue Ribbon Committee” made up of community minded members have quietly worked for 18 months on a plan to tear down the old restaurant facility, save the gymnasium and build a new 10,000 square foot building to replace the clubhouse.
Just over $1million has been raised for the $1.9 million project and the committee has decided not to move forward until 80% of the funds are in hand. The committee asked the city for a multi-year pledge to help support the project. With a donation of $49,000 over 5 years totaling a pledge of $245,000 or if they could pledge $100,00 a year for 5 years they could immediately move forward with the construction plan attaining 84% of their goal.
Councilwoman Shiloh Fonseca asked how the club would handle the kids during construction. Treber indicated discussions with the Plymouth Superintendent have happened and indications are they could use a school facility although nothing is finalized.
Councilman Don Ecker asked where they estimate their numbers could grow to with the expansion. Treber said maximum capacity is 144 and their daily attendance is 115 now. She estimated that number to grow to 200.
Councilman Mike Delp asked about a time line and was told construction would be 6 to 9 months.
Councilman Jeff Houin has had 3 children at the club and said they do a phenomenal job they do with the tight space and limited resources creating a positive environment for the kids.
Councilman Gary Cook said, “The Isbans committed to the project 21 years ago and could have walked away saying we did our part now it’s somebody else’s turn. The Isban family has continued to step up to the plate and make sure the kids of this community have a safe haven to go to after school and during the summer. Gary Cook then made a motion that the city commits $500,000 from the Rainy Day Fund for the Boys & Girls Club Capital Project Fund. He also suggested putting $50,000 a year back into the Rainy Day fund committing $250,000 back to the fund. His motion passed by a vote of 4 to 3 with Mike Delp, Don Ecker and Shawn Grobe voting against the motion.