The Central Saanich Boys and Girls Club brought out the ceremonial shovels this week to celebrate breaking ground on their new home in the heart of Brentwood Bay.
The new 1,400 square foot clubhouse will be located at the back end of the parking lot of the Brentwood Bay library and cultural centre.
“We’ve been a part of the Central Saanich community since 1978,” said the Shannon Russell, the president of Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria during the ceremony.
“This is a very momentous occasion for us and we give our sincerest thanks to all our supporters and to the municipality of Central Saanich for making this a reality.”
In May of last year, the Club made a presentation to Central Saanich council during a committee meeting concerning the deterioration of their facility located behind the United Church in Brentwood Bay.
The building was in a state of disrepair and needed major upgrades, which would cost as much or more as it would to build a modest new facility, they said.
By June of 2013, Central Saanich municipal staff had outlined four possibilities for a new facility and a fifth option was recommended by the Boys and Girls Club.
In December of last year, council approved the site at the back end of the library and cultural centre parking lot (municipal land) and this spring they unanimously approved a 25-year licence agreement with the Boys and Girls Club for the land.
“I think it was a unanimous agreement that we had to find a permanent home in Central Saanich for the Boys and Girls Club,” said Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson during the ceremony.
“We’ve had a long-term relationship with the organization and we’ve gotten to see the benefits of the Boys and Girls Club through many of the youth that have been a part of the program,” said Bryson.
Tsartlip First Nation Elected Chief Don Tom said the Central Saanich Boys and Girls Club has been an integral part of their community as well.
“I am so pleased to be here today and be a part of this,” he said, adding that the Club has benefitted many of Tsartlip’s youth by giving them a safe and engaging place to spend time after school and in the evenings.
The Boys and Girls Club of Victoria has four locations (Victoria, Esquimalt, Westshore and Central Saanich) and has been serving the Greater Victoria community for over 50 years.
“We pride ourselves on developing partnerships with groups in the regions,” said Russell, adding that the organization is embarking on a fundraising initiative to help cover the costs of building the new Brentwood Bay facility.
“We’d like to call on the community to step up and donate,” said Peter Baillie, the chair of the fundraising campaign.
For more information on how to donate visit www.bgcvic.org.