Boys & Girls Club breaks ground in Gautier

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Small and cramped are the best words to describe this old cinder block building that the Boys & Girls Club has been using in Gautier.

Members Lauren Packer and Jerrell Armstrong said there's only one room for activities and a tiny computer lab inside the place.

"We don't have enough room to do activities like arts and crafts," Armstrong said about the small building.

"It is not enough room for all of us to fit in here. That is why we have to stay outside all day," Packer said.

Now it's out with the old and in with new. The Boys & Girls Club members finally broke ground Friday on a 3,000 square foot facility to replace the antiquated building.

Director Catherine Glaude said the project is long overdue.

"The building has aged over 30, close to 40 years. Of course, Katrina had its fun with it," Glaude said about the condition of the building.

Glaude said the new club will have more classrooms, a kitchen, a game room, a special teen area and a larger computer lab.

"It is grant funds through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. $250,000."

This is just the start of this expansion project. The organization also plans to add on more amenities for kids.

"The other two phases are a gym and maybe some type of recreational facility, with the weight room and some type of pool."

As for the young people, they're just excited and looking forward to move in day.

"We get more places to learn and more places to play," Packer said.

The attendance at the Gautier club is about 65 kids. Glaude is expecting that number to increase once the building is finished at the start of the school year.

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