A thousand kids in central Kennewick will soon have a place to go that will keep them away from gangs and graffiti.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties breaks ground on its $5.1 million Kennewick Clubhouse in March, following a low-profile campaign that secured $4.3 million in commitments from 72 supporters in just over three months.
Craig Eerkes, who led the initial fundraising campaign, told the Kennewick City Council that project managers submitted building plans to the city Tuesday. The clubhouse will open later this year near Jean Street and Seventh Avenue, roughly between Amistad Elementary and Park Middle School.
The clubhouse’s mission is to blunt the appeal of gangs by offering children living in poverty in central Kennewick a healthy place to hang out, work out and do homework.
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The 23,000-square-foot clubhouse is a near-twin to Coeur d’Alene’s new Boys & Girls Club.
Kennewick’s amenities include game rooms, study lounges, a teen hang-out zone and a gymnasium with two abbreviated basketball courts.
Mayor Don Britain, who works for the Department of Social and Health Services, called it a perfect outlet for families seeking healthy outlets for their kids.
“That is going to fill a hole,” he said. “We have a lot of families that need that service.”
Chervenell Construction is the general contractor.
Once construction begins, Eerkes said the project will launch a public fundraising campaign to build on the initial support.
Annual membership fees will be $20 a year, with teens able to attend clubs for free.