B&G Club bldg. in line for renovations

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 7, 2007

The building that houses the Boys and Girls Club of LincolnCounty will soon receive much-needed renovations.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors earlier this weekapproved a three-part, $285,000 bid submitted by Scarborough Inc.,of Roxie, to replace the building’s roof, awnings and constructthree classrooms. The base bid and its two alternates break down as$249,000 for the roof, $32,000 for the construction of theclassrooms and $4,000 to replace the awnings on the front of thebuilding.

Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop said the projectwas being funded by a federal grant acquired during a recent countygovernment trip to Washington, D.C.

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“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally going to get itdone,” Bishop said. “This was a project initiated a long time agoby the Chamber of Commerce leadership committee, and we are finallyable to follow through.”

The news of the renovation was most-pleasing to BrookhavenPolice Department Capt. Bobby Bell, a charter member of the boysand girls club and current president of the club’s board ofdirectors. He has served the club for more than 20 years.

“We need this bad,” he said of the renovations. “We need a safehaven for our kids, and we’re getting one.”

Despite the building’s neglected state, Bell said the club hasalways met there – gratefully – for lack of choice.

“The building has been in bad shape since we’ve been there, butit’s better than not having a building at all,” he said.

Bell was particularly pleased with the forthcoming addition ofthree new classrooms.

“We’ve been needing this space so bad,” he said. “We’ll finallybe able to divide our kids by age groups and get each group doingthe activities appropriate for their age.”

Bell said the group does “a little bit of everything,” but hismain goal is to instill a giving spirit in the children.

“My concern is that they learn to give back to the community,”he said. “We visit nursing homes, the elderly, and we sometimesbring them gifts.”

The boys and girls club also takes care of its own. Bell saidthe club often takes trips, small trips like going to the parkevery Friday during the summer and a trip to the Timberlanes campground.

The club also takes larger trips. Bell said members hadjourneyed to Florida four times and had also visited Atlanta, Ga.,and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

“We try to give the kids an opportunity to get out and goplaces, kids that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to dothat,” Bell said.

Renovation, visits and trips aside, Bell said the most importantaspect of the boys and girls club is that it gives kids a place togo instead of “being home alone after school.”

“Since we’ve been in existence, only a handful of our kids haveshown up in the court system,” Bell said. “That means a lot tome.”