Volunteers, donations still needed for week-long renovation project
In about a month, a week long remodeling project will begin at the Rotterdam Boys and Girls Club. Our Beth Croughan tells us how one community member made it her mission to give the building a makeover.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "They're dragging their backpacks, kind of like hum ho, going up you know, toward the building," said Darlene Zeh, a realtor with Prudential Manor Homes.
As she was stopped behind a school bus on Curry Road, Darlene Zeh's focus became the front of the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club. It's a more than 60-year-old building that she decided, needed a facelift.
"I looked at the building and I'm thinking, 'oh my gosh.' These kids needed to feel good about something to go into. The building needs to be beautified," she said.
Now, it's about one year later and the mother of two is a month away from making her vision a reality. Volunteers have raised $30,000, builders have gotten on board, and a local architect has redesigned the arch. All, to help enhance the positive programming put on inside.
"We know of examples of folks who drove by, saw the building, said I'm not taking a chance and sending my kids there. And that is just not acceptable to us, with all the great things that are happening in here. Which is why Darlene's idea comes at the perfect time," said Shane Bargy, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady.
The Rotterdam Boys and Girls Club has 1,100 members. Bargy said it's the largest membership out of all the 14 different Schenectady sites.
"We offer everything from educational enhancement, through our evidence-based Project Learn initiative, to drug and alcohol prevention," he explained of the programs offered at the facility.
And it's those programs Zeh hopes this project helps publicize. Programs that she said can help not only the children, but the entire community.
"I really think that this is a great project. And it's a great community. And I think we can pull it off, if we all work together. It's all about working together," she said.
The week long Extreme Remodel is set to start on Saturday, August 18. Renovations to both the inside and outside of the original building are budgeted at $150,000.
For more information on the Extreme Remodel, visit www.bgcschenectady.org.