Boys & Girls Club returning to Chino Valley? It’s true!

Organization working behind the scenes while work on community center finishes

Tim Davis of K T Interiors works on the floor of the Community Center where the Boys & Girls Club will be. (Jason Wheeler/Review)

Tim Davis of K T Interiors works on the floor of the Community Center where the Boys & Girls Club will be. (Jason Wheeler/Review)

After a long absence, The Boys & Girls Club of Central Arizona is returning to Chino Valley, setting up shop once the Community Center is ready.

The Town of Chino Valley has wanted the Boys & Girls Club to have a local presence for quite a while, according to a staff report by Community Services Director Scott Bruner. A few years ago, the town council looked into the possibilities of making that presence a reality with no luck, said Councilman Lon Turner at last week’s council meeting.

“It didn’t look like it was a viable way to go. I’m glad to see the tables turn,” Turner said, commenting on the opportunity to partner with the organization and making “a better situation for the kids.”

There used to be a Chino Valley Boys & Girls Club with several articles in past editions of the Chino Valley Review detailing financial difficulties. Further, there was never an adequate facility, said Bruner at the Sept. 12 town council meeting. The renovation of the community center provides that, he said.

Though the improvements to the facility aren’t done quite yet, they’re expected to be finished relatively soon, said Chino Valley Town Manger Cecilia Grittman. The expectation is to have it completed most likely with the next two or three weeks, Grittman said last week.

There’s no rush though and the Boys & Girls Club can move in whenever thing are ready, said Boys & Girls Club of Central Arizona Executive Director Gerald Sztosak. At the same time, it’s working behind the scenes to ensure everything is ready to go once the improvements are completed, such as working with the kids at Chino Valley High School to start an advisory board. Before last week’s council meeting, the Boys & Girls Club met with about 30 kids at the high school to hear students’ thoughts and feedback.

“It gives us a little bit more time, depending on what kind of feedback we get from the kids, to make purchases,” he said, calling it a pleasure to add the Town of Chino Valley as a community partner after not having a boys and girls club in the town for a very long time. “We’re very excited to be in Chino.”

The Boys & Girls club will offer affordable after-school care and summer programs for youth and young adults ages 6 to 18.

Council approved a 10-year lease agreement with a rental amount of $1. The agreement may be extended for an additional 15 years.