Boys & Girls Club

Chris Woods, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County stands outside the old Yelm City Hall, a building that will now house the new Yelm Boys & Girls Club.

The chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County says the Yelm location is on track to open by the first day of school and that the hiring committee will soon choose a director to lead the new location. 

The club met Monday with three candidates for the position and are expected to make a decision on a prospective hire within days. 

The club is looking to offer additional registration at the site the third week of August before the grand opening. 

Boys & Girls Club

The old Yelm City Hall will be the location of the new Boys & Girls Club.

CEO Chris Woods said the organization is also at the halfway point toward its  goal of securing three years of operation funding. 

“We’re going to do a strong push with our fundraising campaign up until the start of school, then at that point we want to shift our focus to serving the children and working with the school and city to make sure we can have the best program possible,” he said. 

The new Yelm Boys and Girls Club will be located in the old Yelm City Hall building on the corner of Yelm Avenue and Railroad Street. The club will operate three-quarters of the building while veterans support organizations operate out of the other quarter. 

Andrew Kollar, Yelm’s communications specialist, said the city is still in talks with multiple organizations and is working to determine which services will best suit the space. 

The veterans organizations will likely be chosen to occupy the space once the Boys and Girls club is up and operational. 

So far, many businesses have jumped on to help fund the operation, Woods said. Early contributors include Yelm Dairy Queen, Twin Star Credit Union, Yelm Senior Center and Micro K-12. The largest single donation was $25,000 from an individual donor. 

Woods said the club is expected to be very unique to Yelm. Through their collaboration with the school district, the focus is to bring a collaborative environment to the space, which is currently owned by the city. 

“Our collaboration with their curriculum, being able to provide tech and access to the same curriculum at our club as they’re accessing at the schools,” Woods said. “FFA is a huge program at Yelm and we’ve already had some discussion as to how to collaborate with them … It truly is going to be a community center.” 

The space will employ around five or six part-time employees, Woods said. The site director will be a full-time position. The club will rely on additional volunteers and teachers to help with academic programs. 

Planned additions and revisions to the existing space will be minimal, Woods said. The largest project will be creating a division between the club and veteran organization. 

”Besides that, it’s mostly going to be patching walls, painting, carpet cleaning, things like that,” he said.

Visit the Boys and Girls Club website at bgctc.org for more information.

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