This article appeared in Hayeswire
Hayes Valley is already home to a handful of schools and educational facilities, but it will soon be the new stomping ground for the latest Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGC) clubhouse.
The renowned after-school organization is currently in the planning stages of developing the plot at 344 Fulton (at Gough), which is now a surface level parking lot.
According to BGC of San Francisco President Rob Connolly, the plan is to build a new four-story, 33,500-square-foot recreational clubhouse to replace the 60-year-old youth center in the Upper Haight.
“Our club in the Upper Haight has been there since 1952. Originally, it was filling a need in that community at a time when there were more children in the Upper Haight,” Rob explained. “For the last 25 years, the kids who’ve been coming to that location have primarily been from Lower Haight, Western Addition and Hayes Valley. [When time came to plan for future development] the clubhouse in the Upper Haight needed a lot of work, so we did some soul-searching to see if we’d either rebuild it or move it outside of the community to where the kids lived.”
Among the new amenities, the Hayes Valley edition of BGC will feature: a competition-sized swimming pool, a gymnasium, an art center, and middle school and high school services, as well as new administrative offices for Rob and his team. He told us he’s elated to bring the kids and his staff to the heart of the Valley.
“We’re eager to be where our kids are, so they can walk home and be close to public transportation,” he noted.
The location isn’t the only thing that Rob’s enthusiastic about; he’s also looking forward to partnering with the community and local businesses for educational opportunities geared towards the area’s youth.
“We have a strong youth workforce development program,” Rob said. “We’re always looking for places that will hire teenagers to give them an initial job experience, and we’re hoping some of the local stores will take an interest in the clubhouse and get involved in our programs. ”