BY LUIS GRONDA
The doors opened on a brand-new clubhouse at the Richmond Hill Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens Tuesday morning.
Several club executives and local elected officials who played a role in making the $10 million facility a reality touted its opening as the beginning for what is to come in the future.
George Russo, president of the Richmond Hill Boys and Girls Club, said the new building was built upon the same dream that they hope the kids that use the facility will carry on as they get older.
“If you believe it, you can achieve it. If you have a vision and you’re willing to work hard and overcome many obstacles, you can realize that vision,” he said.
The 3,500-square-foot facility will offer a lot more programs and services to the thousands of children that use the club, according to Carol Simon, the club’s executive director.
Its main attraction is the All-Star Teen Center and Café, donated to the club by Major League Baseball and the New York Mets as part of hosting the All-Star Game last year at Citi Field.
The teen center offers children a chance to relax and socialize with their peers in a comfortable environment. It has a flat screen television with an X-Box One hooked up to it, as well as several board games to play. It also has a small café that will offer food and drinks based on what the kids at the center would like to see served.
In addition to the teen center, the clubhouse will also offer the Helen Marshall Learning Center, named after the former Borough President who funded some of the project, a Technology Center, the Pre-Teen Center and a high school regulation size gym.
The club will now shift its focus to renovating the old building next to the new teen center. Simon said that project will cost about $4 million, but they first must raise that money to kickstart the project. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) has allocated $125,000 in State capital funding for that second phase, according to a press release from his office.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.