The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri had an open house and ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the expansion to its building at 317 Comingo Ave.
The expansion, named the Debra and David Humphreys Family Unit, will allow for added programs and enrollment and increased safety for students. Friday's event was attended by dozens of community members, supporters and donors.
A capital campaign sought $4 million toward the goal of expansion, adding at least 13,000 square feet to the existing 8,000-square-foot site. This will allow more room for those on the waiting list for summer enrollment, boost enrollment by hundreds, more than double the program's capabilities and provide more learning opportunities.
The expansion will include a teen center, a training room, extra program rooms, a kitchen and dining area, restrooms, improved playground and a room to weather storms, as well as safer drop-off and pickup zones.
“Originally, we had four programming areas and two large gyms; now, we have 11 programming areas. We are able to divide kids up in areas and run specific programs with them while having plenty of space,” said Rhonda Gorham, Boys & Girls Club CEO.
A $1 million donation for the project came from Debra and David Humphreys, who also will lend their name to the building. David Humphreys is the president and CEO of TAMKO Building Products Inc.
“The Humphreys (family) have been active in philanthropy for many years. Giving education and opportunities that enable our youth, it’s a true passion of theirs, so this was a very natural fit,” said Kim Eckerman, director of marketing and communications for TAMKO.
The Boys & Girls Club, which offers after-school and summer programs for area children, will open for its summer session on Monday. The organization has lifted its mask mandate, it said on social media, but children may wear one if they choose.