Boys and Girls Club inks deal for future Malaga facility, park

Brewster pilot paves the way

Brian Paine, BBGC Director

The Brewster Boys and Girls Club established a proof of concept for the organization’s presence in a small Eastern Washington community.
“There have literally been dozens and dozens of people working for many, many years to get a park developed in Malaga,” said Herb Gardner, Community Council chairman. “The Boys and Girls Club, with its youth activities and after-school and summer programs, seemed like a good match. They have more resources than we do.”

BREWSTER – When Brian Paine assumed the post as director of the Brewster Boys and Girls Club (BBGC) - the only one at that time in Central Washington - in June 2015, part of his goal was to use the BBGC to seed others in the surrounding counties. That goal is now becoming a reality.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County (BGCSC) has signed a long-term agreement to lease 24 acres, just north of the Malaga Market and along the Malaga-Alcoa Highway, from the Malaga-Colockum Community Council for a club facility and a community park.
“The Brewster club was a proof of concept for smallEastern Washington communities,” said Paine. “Step two was developing a large regional club to help oversee future operations; this is step two.”
Of the 24 Malaga acres, 21.5 acres are for a club facility and 2.5 acres are to be developed into a community park.
The 25-year lease agreement, with an option to extend the lease an additional 25 years, requires the BGCSC to develop the property for the intended uses within seven years. If it does, Boys and Girls Club has an option to purchase the site, a club media release said.
The agreement came together after several months of negotiations.
“Our goal has been to expand Boys and Girls Clubs into the Wenatchee Valley,” said Bill Tsoukalas, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. “Brewster was the starting point but the greater Wenatchee area has been on our radar screen from the beginning.
The Boys and Girls Club project is one of 156 action items in the Our Valley, Our Future Action Plan (http://www.ourvalleyourfuture.org), released in November 2016.
Lead partners in the Our Valley project are the Boys and Girls Club of Brewster and the Malaga-Colockum Community Council. Our Valley, Our Future has provided legal and planning assistance to the Boys and Girls Club over the past few months.
“It’s a vital part of Our Valley, Our Future because few things are created just for kids,” Paine said. “We now have an opportunity of reaching all of our kids in North Central Washington.”
“It is great to see the Boys and Girls Club and the Malaga-Colockum Community Council come together on this project,” said Steve Maher, Our Valley, Our Future coordinator. “One of Our Valley’s core values is collaboration and this project is a shining example of that. It will benefit not only youth but the overall community and specifically the Malaga community.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish County, which serves more than 20,000 youth ages 5 to 18, is the umbrella organization for several clubs in Washington state, including the Boys and Girls Club of Brewster. When built, the Malaga facility would be the first Boys and Girls Club in the Wenatchee Valley.
Efforts to build a Malaga park date to 1979. The property was purchased by the Malaga-Colockum Community Council in 2004. But the Community Council has since determined it does not have the money and resources to develop a fully functioning park and then maintain it.
“There have literally been dozens and dozens of people working for many, many years to get a park developed in Malaga,” said Herb Gardner, Community Council chairman. “The Boys and Girls Club, with its youth activities and after-school and summer programs, seemed like a good match. They have more resources than we do.”
“Malaga has not had a focal point since 1969 with the closing of the school,” added Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay, a former Malaga-Colockum Community Council chairman who participated in negotiations. “This creates that focal point, where people can go and where events can be held. With growth potentially going that way, this can be a crown jewel of the community.”
A facility design has yet to be done, but Boys and Girls officials have discussed constructing a gym, activity rooms, teen center, computer lab, and outdoor sports fields and courts for the Boys and Girls Club, and ball fields, picnic areas and restrooms for the community park.
A capital campaign is to be launched once a site plan has been developed and feedback is received from community leaders and residents, officials said. Paine said the plan is to build the community park first and then the Boys and Girls Club facility.
Boys and Girls Clubs provide activities that support character development, academics and healthy living for youth ages 5 to 18. The program seeks to inspire and help young people from all backgrounds to achieve their full potential as productive adults and responsible citizens.
 

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