PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia is poised to open a newly-renovated facility for the youth of Portsmouth. It's located at 5905 Portsmouth Boulevard.
Kevin Will, the President of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia, says they’re moving ahead and planning to open sometime next month, despite financial struggles. He said the price tag is about $750,000 and unfortunately, a couple of major pledges have fallen through.
“COVID has put some constraints as far as our fundraising, but we know that need to take a leap of faith and get these doors open as soon as possible,” said Will. “We’re shooting for mid-February to open our doors for our kids to give them a safe place to go.”
The Boys and Girls Club had worked with Portsmouth schools, offering after-school programs; however, Will explained they wanted their own space and the ability to offer extended hours for working parents. The building features an indoor basketball court, an art room, a recording studio and a swimming pool. Will said children will be offered swimming lessons and have a chance to practice their skills weekly.
Other Boys and Girls Club locations in the region are open during the day for children who are in virtual school. They can go to the club and be supervised while doing schoolwork. When no other option is available - for example, if both parents are working - some children are left at home alone.
“It’s important for us to get these doors open as soon as possible, so kids can come spend their days with us rather than alone.”
Saniyyah Bamberg has used their services before and is eager to use the new facility.
“Portsmouth has a history of not being the safest area, but Boys and Girls Club is such a safe space - physically and emotionally for these kids to get the training they need to become great adults,” Bamberg said.
To see more about the project, including how municipalities, companies or individuals can make a donation, click here.