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Boys and Girls Club could run city youth programs

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Local Boys and Girls Club programs might be moving this summer to the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center and running the city’s youth programs as well.

Tim Coughlin of the Boys and Girls Club and Marcus Gallegos, city recreation director, told Roswell city councilors that the change could be beneficial to both groups.

According to Coughlin, the Roswell group of the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Blanca, which also operates in Ruidoso, needs to find a new location on a temporary basis.

The club leases a city building at 201 S. Garden Ave. from the city, and the city has received a $750,000 federal Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department to renovate and repair the building.

While the work might not begin as expected on June 1, the group still intends to be out of the building by that date and for the rest of the calendar year so that the work can occur. Therefore, the club needs a temporary location for its educational and recreation programs.

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The idea that came to Coughlin was to approach the city about moving to the Recreation and Aquatic Center near Cielo Grande Recreation Area on West College Boulevard.

“It just seemed like a really good fit to go over there and be able to work together with them at that location,” Couglin said during the Wednesday meeting of the Roswell City Council General Services Committee.

Gallegos said that, when he heard the idea, he realized the city didn’t want to run competing youth programs, so he suggested that the Boys and Girls Club not only rent the city facility but also run the city’s program during its time there.

“It … actually works out good on the city side because we could save some money. Our program from what I calculated actually cost us money last year,” Gallegos said. “It would be pretty advantageous to us.”

He added that he thinks the programs offered by the Boys and Girls Club are better than the youth programs the city could offer last year.

He also explained that the club currently pays rent to the city for the Garden Avenue location and would just continue to pay the rent, but that the city could credit the funds to the Recreation and Aquatic Center.

Coughlin said the change would allow the city staff to focus on running the pools and facility rather than staff programs. Gallegos said the change also might help the Boys and Girls Club grow its membership.

“This may be an opportunity to be able to expand,” agreed Coughlin. “We are sitting back waiting for guidance. Part of it is guidance from the city and part of it is guidance from the governor (concerning public health orders).”

Coughlin said that club membership is $20 for each individual, with an additional fee for its summer activities. Last year, the amount was $60 a week.

 

Couglin said that it now serves about 125 to 150 youth, but that number could be affected by public health orders that require social distancing and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The matter is expected to be discussed further at future city meetings.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.