LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Salvation Army Boys And Girls Club invited the community out on Saturday for the grand reopening to tour the remodeled facilities, meet the new director and staff and eat lunch.
Eighty percent of the Boys & Girls Club building flooded in February after winter storms caused pipes to burst.
When the new director Walter Mays stepped into the role only a few short weeks ago, he was ready for the challenge.
“It’s so crazy,” he said. “It’s so busy, but it still has so much purpose. I think that people were really looking forward to this program coming back and I’m looking so forward to delivering it to them.”
The face-lift includes news floors, ceiling tiles, kitchen cabinets and plumbing and sheetrock.
Major David Robinson said in the gym, a long-awaited three-point on the basketball court may be the crowning achievement, or at least it is to the kids.
“To see the kids’ faces when they walked in,” he said, “that was one of the first things the boys saw when they came in the first day we were open is the three-point line. They wanted to get basketballs and start shooting right away.”
Even the Lawton Police Department came out to let kids play sirens on the vehicles.
Mays said they can’t teach the children healthy lifestyles, good citizenship and building character without grade-A facilities.
“Safety is the number one concern,” he said. “We want parents to feel safe that their kids will be supervised, watched and safe when they’re here in the building. Then of course, we have to look at academic success being in the building also.”
He’s excited to start the summer program in June.
Students can expect to learn and enjoy summer activities like trips to parks and lakes.
“It’s an extended day,” he said. “We do serve breakfast, lunch and snacks in the afternoon and we offer a more comprehensive based program, really focusing on lessening the educational gap that happens between summer and school.”
It costs $50 per week to participate in the summer program. For more information, contact the Boys And Girls Club at 580-357-7541.