Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne ushered in a new era Tuesday as leaders officially opened their new facility.
City, community, business, and organization leaders came together for a special ribbon cutting ceremony. After the ceremony, more than 400 club members were introduced to the new building at 2609 Fairfield Avenue, south of downtown Fort Wayne.
The new building expands the club’s space from 26,000 sq. ft. to 42,500 sq. ft. on a 2.3-acre campus. That added space will allow the organization to reach more children in need of a safe, fun, and educational place to go after school.
It’ll also add some unique opportunities that weren’t always available in the old building.
The new facility includes a full collegiate gym with three basketball courts, a full performance stage, five learning centers, a tutoring room, and a dance and fitness studio. It also features an E-gaming and technology room, an expanded art room, and a Planet Fitness workout room
Additionally, members will have access to a special building trades room where they can learn about the same skilled trades that built the new facility they will now enjoy.
Students with special needs will also be better served at the new facility, with a sensory room and an inclusive outdoor playground.
Another aspect of the new facility that leaders are excited about is a second floor dedicated to teens only. That new space will expand the organization’s reach and provide opportunities for kids to stay members longer.
Joe Jordan, Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne President and CEO, gave WANE 15 a tour of the new facility. You can go along and watch it for yourself in the video below:
In all, the project cost about $9 million to complete. The organization raised that money in less than a year through a capital campaign, thanks to individual and corporate donors in the community.
That community support has been around for Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne for decades. The organization first came to the Summit City in 1989 after a small group of community leaders noticed a need for a safe, accepting and positive place for children and teens to go after school and in the summer.
The local chapter of the club got its start at 1309 Minor Street in Fort Wayne. That’s where it stayed until 1994 when it moved to the current location at 2609 Fairfield Avenue.
That facility saw multiple changes and improvements over the years leading up to January 2018, when demolition began to make way for the new facility.
Crews have now been working for more than a year to finish the project so a new and exciting future can begin for the Boys and Girls Club and its members.
Since the Fort Wayne club began, membership has grown from 100 children, to nearly 2,300. But despite that growth, leaders say the goal and focus has stayed the same – to give Fort Wayne youth a fun, safe, and positive place to grow into happy, successful adults.
For registration information and to learn more about Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, click here.