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 Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States. 1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment. 1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan. 1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war. 1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs. 1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.