The Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue broke ground on their new downtown clubhouse on Oct. 8. The new 27,000 sq. ft. Sally A. & Jim Nordstrom Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue main clubhouse facility will be located on current clubhouse property at 209 100th Ave. NE.
The Bellevue club serves 11,000 members from 12 club sites, making it the largest youth service provider in Bellevue, and the only club to provide programs for Bellevue teens.
The downtown clubhouse has under gone numerous remodels to accommodate the growing number of families making their way to the Eastside. The Club’s Director of Development Michele Heffron said that for the past 63 years, the downtown club has been, “the heart and soul of the organization.” Bellevue’s population has grown by 47 percent during the past 20 years, remodeling efforts weren’t able to keep up with the volume of families and kids using the space.
“Factors have created a rapidly growing need for safe, affordable and effective out-of-school enrichment activities for our community’s youth who would otherwise be at home, unsupervised,” Heffron wrote in an email. “Statistics prove that the hours from 3-8 p.m. are when youth are most at-risk, and it is up to all of us to find alternatives that inspire them with hope and enable them with positive opportunities.”
The fundraising for the clubhouse began early in 2012 with a silent campaign. The Foster Family Foundation donated $2 million dollars to the cause, and another $2 million from Sally A. Nordstrom.
“We have evolved to the public phase of the campaign and still need to raise an additional $3 million in order to meet our funding goals,” Heffron wrote. “We are now turning to the entire community to help push us to the end of the campaign and help us raise the additional $3 million by mid-2016, or at least before the new building is complete.”
The new space will feature a full-day preschool, a dedicated Tween/Teen Center, art spaces, internet cafe, teaching kitchen, game rooms, gymnasium, tech center, meeting rooms, and community center.