The Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley hopes to open its new teen center by early next year.
The club is renovating the former Skills Inc. building at 1122 5th Ave., Moline, into a center for teens ages 13 to 18. Children younger than 13 will continue to attend the group's existing facility.
The group hopes to have the $1.2 million upgrade ready and teens participating in activities in the building the first part of 2013, executive director Becky Clark said, adding that they hope to accommodate up to 200 teens daily.
"And help them make good choices about healthy lifestyles," she said.
Funds for the renovation have been generated through public and private donations, Ms. Clark said.
Wednesday, the club received a check for $100,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which was presented by state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, and state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan.
The money will be used to cover the cost of installing a new heating and cooling system in the new building, she said, adding that the club still needs to raise about $200,000 to cover renovation costs.
Much of the first floor is finished. The walls are painted in bold reds and blues, and much of the floor is covered in a patchwork of green, purple, yellow, red and blue tile. Some of the equipment -- board games, an air hockey table and furniture -- are already there.
But the space that will hold an IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union branch still must be renovated and work on the second floor is under way.
The first floor will include a conference room, game area, computer lab, administrative offices and the IH Mississippi branch. Plans call for the second floor to be a performing arts hub featuring activities, such as dances.
While it will be a place for teens to socialize, the Boys and Girls Clubs also wants the center to provide academic help, and a chance for students to explore interests and develop job skills, officials said.
Teens will hear speakers, experiment with audio-visual projects and learn about banking through internships at the IH Mississippi branch.
Ms.Clark said they hope eventually to add a gymnasium to the building, a roughly $1 million project.
"If we don't have a place for young people to go," Sen. Jacobs said, "they're going to get in trouble."
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.