Commerce is among the Georgia communities to be awarded community development block grants for 2014 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
The city received notice Tuesday, Aug. 19, that its application for a $500,000 grant to help build a new clubhouse for the Commerce Boys and Girls Club campus had been approved. The new Jefferson Boys and Girls Club facility was also funded in part through a CDBG award.
City manager Pete Pyrzenski said the club has closed on the purchase of a larger tract of land near its present site and has an option on the remaining piece. The purchase will give the club frontage on Homer Road.
Jim Shaw, a member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Jackson County, said the plan is to build a new clubhouse similar to the 7,000-square-foot clubhouse completed this year at the Jefferson campus — also largely funded by a CDB grant.
“I anticipate that we will have another capital campaign,” he said, estimating that the total cost to build and furnish the Jefferson facility ran “close to $900,000.
The Commerce campus currently serves 119 members, with average daily attendance of about 80, Shaw said.
“It is overflowing,” he noted. “If rain comes over there during club hours, that’s a bunch of kids in a small building.”
Shaw also said overall Boys and Girls Club membership is “growing like never before,” a situation he attributes to the new Jefferson clubhouse and the expectation that there will be a new Commerce clubhouse.
“A lot of people are calling,” he said.
The Boys and Girls Club directors expect to meet within a few weeks with the architect. A grant workshop is also planned for the first week in September. The city and club have 24 months from the time of the grant award to complete the project.