The Galt Boys and Girls Club has hired a professional grant writer to seek $2.5 million in State Parks funding to construct a new Boys and Girls Club building.
The nonprofit agency has operated its after-school program at Fairsite Elementary School since the club's building was closed a year ago due to mold.
Club officials have asked the city of Galt to spend an estimated $100,000 to demolish the present Boys and Girls Club building at Caroline and Chabolla avenues and remove the foundation.
The club is also asking the city to make other commitments. They include:
- Amending the lease of the city-owned property by at least four years. The lease between the city and club expires in 2020, but the state requires a 20-year lease from the time the grant is approved.
- Providing signed letters of support from the Galt City Council, Parks and Recreation Department, Police Department and other appropriate city staff members.
- Providing matching funds. If the City Council agrees to pay the $100,000 to demolish the existing structure, that will count as matching funds, said Shane McLatchey, the club's executive director.
"We must show a community buy-in," McLatchey told the City Council last week.
The more money contributed by the city and other sources, the better the chance that the Boys and Girls Club will receive the Murray-Hayden Urban Youth Services Grant, McLatchey said.
"I don't know what the likelihood is of getting a $2.5 million grant, but I know what the likelihood is if we never ask," said Galt Mayor Darryl Clare.
The City Council voted last week to submit letters of support, which McLatchey said he needs by Nov. 15. The council will consider amending its lease with the club to reflect the four-year extension at the Nov. 4 council meeting.
Clare said at last week's meeting that the council will consider using city money to demolish the existing building and contribute other matching funds after learning whether the state grant is approved.
However, McLatchey said Monday he will seek Galt's financial commitments on Nov. 4 because they need to be included in the letters of support. The letters will be considered more substantial if they contain the financial commitments, McLatchey said.
The city-owned Boys and Girls Club building has been closed since last November, when toxic mold was found in the building. Since that time, the program has operated at Fairsite Elementary School, a block away from the club building.
Between 80 and 140 children and teens participate in after-school activities through the Boys and Girls Club, McLatchey said.
McLatchey credits Jeff Jennings, superintendent of the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District and Fairsite Principal Mike Scully for allowing use of the Fairsite campus. Jennings and Scully serve on the 17-member Boys and Girls Club board of directors.
"If it wasn't for those two guys, the kids wouldn't have a place to play," McLatchey said. "Had we not had someone like Darryl Clare to help us work through this, we may not have a program."