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Springville Boys & Girls Club new location is open for business

FRESH AND NEW — The Springville Boys & Girls Club is now located on Maple Avenue in Springville. Photos by Jessie Owen.
SPRINGVILLE — The Boys & Girls Club of Springville welcomed local students to its brand new Maple Avenue building on Jan. 2. While the club had been working on this location for approximately 10 years, Assistant Executive Director Michael Basehart said the project really took off, last year.

LET’S HAVE SOME FUN — The new Boys & Girls Club’s main activity room is full of game tables and other activities to keep kids busy.
A team of volunteers began working on the new facility last January and Basehart gave credit to Grover Riefler, whom he called “Mr. Outside,” and Phil Collesano, whom he dubbed “Mr. Inside,” for helping to bring the project to completion. He also credited Jack Gerber with “doing so much behind the scenes,” to get the building completed and Carl Emerling, for his “tremendous help.”

WHAT A BRICK — The new Boys & Girls Club facility’s entryway features 211 bricks, sporting the names of the building’s sponsors. The bricks themselves were donated by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.
A display of 211 terra-cotta bricks, with the names of donators, was erected in the building’s entryway. The bricks were sold, during a drive held last year, and donated by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

Kids from fourth grade – high school can now take advantage of after-school programming at the Maple Avenue building, which is many times larger than the club’s former building on Mechanic Street. While Basehart said that the building has already welcomed 55 kids since its opening day, the club just received approval to have fourth and fifth graders bused in, after school.

To welcome kids to the new building, the club offered passes for children to visit, five times, free of charge. Basehart said that parents have stopped in, every day, to sign their children up for the program.

KEEPING BUSY — Boys & Girls Club Assistant Executive Director Michael Basehart is pictured with the schedule of events for the day.
The main room, which features gaming tables, runs the length of the building. A schedule written on a whiteboard lists the day’s activities, which always include a fitness challenge and homework help, among other things.

COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU — The main activity room was dubbed the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation Learning Center, as a thank you to that organization, for donated funds.
The Springville-Griffith Institute Education Foundation donated $15,000 toward the club and was honored with naming rights to the main room, now called the “Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation Learning Center.” Thanks to a $15,000 grant of labor and materials from the Education Technology Foundation of Western New York, the building sports Wi-Fi throughout, as well as a fully-equipped technology room. “They do this as a volunteer effort,” Basehart said. The group is made up of IT professionals from all over Western New York.

The Springville Center for the Arts is in preliminary talks with the Boys & Girls Club to potentially utilize the technology room for its digital art classes.

LET’S CHAT — A program office lets staff members interact, one-on-one, with kids, or get some work done, in peace and quiet.
The building also features a program office that Basehart said can be used by staff members for one-on-one interactions with the students.

A gymnasium provides room for kids to blow off steam and get their exercise. Basehart said that Riefler is preparing 54 lockers, to be located outside the gym.

SCRATCH THAT — Senior students can blow off steam in their own lounge, equipped with a big-screen TV and a pool table, at the new Boys & Girls Club location.
A game room, equipped with a TV and several video game systems, is available, but Basehart warned that club participants may game for only half an hour at a time. A lounge for senior students currently features a big-screen TV, couches and a pool table, donated by a local family.

LET YOUR CREATIVITY SHOW — The club’s new building features an art room, complete with tables, a display space, a sink and storage cabinets.
The building’s art room will allow for kids’ creative sides to shine through and the kitchen, sponsored by Cheap Chollies, will include a snack shack, run by club participants. Basehart said that healthy goodies will be incorporated into the daily fitness challenges.

Basehart added that cabinets and other kitchen items were donated by Riefler, with the building’s registration counter provided by Delocon Wholesale and some carpet donated by Carpet World. Paul Salzler and Collesano worked on the facility’s bathrooms.

“We had painting parties, at night, with our board members,” Basehart said. “I just thank all of them. Everything was done by volunteer work.”

Basehart estimated that the work done to complete the building would have cost approximately $75,000, but that materials and labor were either donated or provide at-cost.

Kids in the Springville Boys & Girls Club are now participating in a new tracking member system.

They are given an ID number, which allows the club to digitally track their various activities, throughout the day. Staff members in each of the building’s rooms note how much time each kid spends inside that space and what he or she does, there. “It’s a great analytical tool,” Basehart said. “We get a printout of activities, based on things like gender and age.”

The Maple Avenue location welcomes kids in fourth – 12th grade, on school days, until 6 p.m. “From 3 – 6 p.m. is known as the critical hours of care,” Basehart said. “We want to make sure kids have a safe place to be.”

Younger children in kindergarten – fifth grade may participate in Boys & Girls Club licensed, school-age childcare at Springville Elementary School and Colden Elementary School.

A dance class for girls will be held in the club’s gym, beginning Jan. 28. This offering, part of the club’s Girl Power Program, will be taught by a teacher from the Springville Middle School.

A summer camp will be held at the facility, for eight consecutive weeks, beginning the first week kids are out of school, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. “There’s always a weekly theme,” Basehart said.

The new club is located at 63 Maple Ave. in Springville. A grand opening for the public has been scheduled for March 31. Call 794-7021 or visit on weekdays, between 2:30 and 6 p.m.
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