Boys & Girls Club ready for new digs

Nearly five years after buying land for a new building in east Carson City, the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada is on pace to finally break ground for the first phase of a planned 40,000 square-foot "clubhouse" by the end of this year, club officials said Wednesday.

The first round of fund-raising for a new building landed the club more than $2.5 million - not quite enough to finish the first phase, but more than the club's round-one goal.

"We've never been more excited about the future of the club as we are now," said club president Jennifer Russell.

The 25,000 square-foot initial project includes a gymnasium, a game room, several offices, a library, a fine arts room with an adjoining kiln and a kitchen and cafeteria. Club officials submitted the architectural plans to the city building department earlier this month.

After overcoming obstacles such as being in a flood plane and working within the confines of the area's residential zoning requirements, money is now about the only thing remaining between the club and its quest for new facilities. While the club does have $2.5 million for the cause, officials want to hold off on construction until they have enough to finish the entire first phase, said club member Buzz Fitzpatrick, an engineer with Lumos and Associates.

Once the first phase is complete, the after school youth program will move from the city-owned building on South Stewart Street, where it's been housed since the local Boys & Girls club chapter's inception about a dozen years ago.

The new facility is sorely needed, Russell said, with club membership continuing to increase year by year. The club now boasts nearly 2,150 members - nearly 25 percent of Carson City School District's student population, according to Russell.

Two future phases include plans for education rooms, a computer room, a music center, an outdoor garden classroom, a multimedia print shop, a sports complex, a culinary classroom and community meeting space.

The new facility will be built on what was formerly named Lompa Lane. It has since been dubbed Russell Way, after the late Nevada Gov. Charles Russell and his family, which includes granddaughter Jennifer Russell. The street will be extended to Northridge Drive as part of the project.

The club has also whittled down a list of around 80 applicants for their open Executive Director post, which opened when the club fired longtime director Cathy Blankenship in December.

Four finalists, which Russell said are non-local applicants with vast experience in Boys and Girls Club administration, are expected to travel to Carson City for interviews within the next two weeks.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at


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