Why is a new facility needed by Boys & Girls Club of Richland County? In plain terms, we have simply outgrown our space because of growth of programming and services offered by the Club, and we are unable to expand and grow any further due to space limitations.

The City of Sidney, in cooperation with the Johnson family, has donated the land for us to construct a new Boys & Girls Club facility. The property is located directly across the street from one of the two elementary schools in Sidney, Montana, and will provide easy access for students from that school building, as well as bus transportation from the other school facilities in town.

The 16,500 square foot facility will provide three classrooms, a technology center, a secure reception area, two staff offices, a director’s office, staff bathroom, easily monitored member restrooms, security system, a conference room, a multi-purpose room which will also serve as a full-sized gym, a commercial teaching kitchen, garden and greenhouse space, a dedicated teen center with a separate entrance, and ample storage space.

This new facility would allow us to easily double the membership currently served, reaching even more of the kids in our community. The Club would be able to add many new programs that we simply do not have the room to provide at the current time. We have had to cap our membership at approximately 150 because of space considerations. In addition, we would be able to start projects that take time to complete and leave them set up for the next day rather than having to dismantle everything every day to clear space for the teachers in their classrooms. This would allow our kids to delve deeper into such options as STEM activities, experiments, and building projects that require more than one session to complete.

In addition, we would be able to fully serve the teen population in Sidney, offering those kids a place of their own with engaging activities that will provide them opportunities for growth and a safe and caring place to hang out when school is not in session. For those kids not involved in athletics or other extra-curricular activities in our community, there are few other opportunities available to them. Unsupervised, unstructured time for teens often leads to them filling their time with less than desirable activities or simply planting themselves in front of their electronic devices with little or no interaction with others. We plan to target the teen population with engaging activities. It is our belief that these activities will lead to increased academic performance and school completion rates. Teens who are engaged tend to be more successful.

The new facility would also offer state-of-the-art security. This security would include a controlled access entry and intercoms for communication between areas of the building. Security cameras would be installed on both the exterior and in the interior of the buildings. Corner mirrors would allow for supervision at corners in the hallways, and the member restrooms would have shared wash stations visible from the hallways for easy monitoring. Someone would be on duty at the entry whenever the Club is open, and only one entry door would be accessible.Safety is the first priority of Boys & Girls Clubs.

~Elaine Stedman, CEO