Believe & Become is an ambitious renovation and expansion project that will take place over the course of the next few years, hopefully to be completed in spring of 2024. The project will transform the current Club, built in 1973, into a state-of-the art facility that our youth deserve. When completed the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell will boast:
- A new, modern building that will demonstrate that the community truly values its young people.
- A welcoming & inviting lobby will be created by expanding the front of the building towards Middlesex Street, creating a more efficient and pleasant check-in and pick-up space.
- New entrance and façade will increase awareness and improve street approval.
- Improved safety by creating better flow and visibility within the building
- An environment more conducive to learning & growing will be created by upgrading and fixing infrastructure such as HVAC, lighting, and bathrooms
- An ADA compliant facility that will ensure that we provide an accessible environment for all.
- Program spaces that will be designed to be innovative and flexible so they can remain relevant to our population’s changing needs.
- Expansion and repurposing of spaces will allow an additional 300 youth per day to access the Club – double our current capacity.
- Additional services and programs that will include job training/certifications, better mental health supports, meditation & quiet spaces, expanded arts programming, and more robust community services & involvement.
We are often asked what will happen with programming in this time. Our Director of Operations, Youth Development Director and program staff are committed to continuing service to our members throughout the construction. Therefore, construction and renovation is slated to occur in a phased approach.
Demolition has already begun on the pool area and former locker room. Later this fall, renovation of this space will occur, with the pool itself being covered to create a large multipurpose space. Bathrooms will be added to the former locker room space. This will provide a temporary program space for Club staff to use, along with the gym, while construction takes place in other area of the Club. We hope to have this space ready for use in early 2023.
Once the multipurpose space (which will eventually become our new Community Center and Café) is ready for use, staff will begin programming in this space over the course of a few months. This will allow time for members and staff to adjust to the new space, which will be a bit more open and have more activity than our current classroom-like spaces.
Staff are already gathering ideas on how to get creative and provide meaningful programs in the space and with less equipment. They are considering ways to collaborate across departments – given that they will be in the same space, they might as well figure out how to mesh programs. Their innovative thinking and ability to put members first once again demonstrates our staffs’ commitment to doing whatever it takes to help our members thrive.
It is possible that we will move Club programming off-site for the duration of one summer, in order to accelerate the process and attend to Club-wide infrastructure. Fortunately, various organizations community have been receptive to helping us find a temporary space should this happen.
Be sure to check out the live construction camera for real-time images of the project, and join our mailing list to receive regular updates on the project!