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 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.