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The Risdal Family Center for Great Futures is expected to open in early 2025.
provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield Inc.
The Risdal Family Center for Great Futures is expected to open in early 2025.

Boys & Girls Clubs plans groundbreaking next week for teen center

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Construction is set to commence this month on a multimillion-dollar teen center for a nonprofit along the Grant Avenue Parkway.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield Inc. has scheduled a Feb. 15 groundbreaking ceremony to kick off work on The Risdal Family Center for Great Futures, according to a news release. The two-story, 32,000-square-foot building will be constructed at 804 W. Catalpa St. and is intended to serve middle and high school youth with after-school programming in areas including education, workforce readiness and the arts.

Ross Construction Group LLC is general contractor for the project designed by architect Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective. Amenities for the center will include a gym, dance and fitness studio, games room, esports lounge, kitchen, dining space, art room, office spaces, study rooms, library and an art gallery, according to the release. The center also will include a health clinic and dedicated space for providing free mental health services. Land has been moving at the site in recent days, with trees removed to make way for the development plans.

Through the project, BGCS anticipates doubling its current reach among middle- and high school-aged students, with plans to serve around 1,000 youth annually. The center is projected to open in early 2025, according to officials.

“Serving the kids who need us most is our mission, and this community project does just that,” BGCS CEO Brandy Harris said in the release. “There are so many middle and high school students that need safe, empowering spaces to go after school.”

The nonprofit originally announced the project in 2022, at which time the teen center was planned as a three-story, 44,000-square-foot building, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Nonprofit Foster Adopt Connect Inc. intended to occupy the third floor, leasing space from BGCS. However, Foster Adopt Connect Executive Director Brandi VanAntwerp said last year the organization decided to stay in its Youth Connect Center, which opened downtown in late 2022 and provides community services for ages 13-18. Amber Alcorn, BGCS director of strategic communication, said Foster Adopt Connect remains a strong partner and will be involved with programming at the teen center.

When the teen center was announced, BGCS officials set a $12 million goal for the facility’s capital campaign, which includes three years of operating expenses. Despite a smaller building than originally planned, rising construction costs resulted in the campaign’s goal remaining the same, Alcorn said, adding more than $7 million is currently committed to the project.

BGCS in 2022 received $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the city and $2 million from Greene County for the project. That’s in addition to over $3 million raised to date through private donations, including an undisclosed amount from Jon Risdal, a longtime supporter and current BGCS board member. That donation resulted in naming rights for the facility.

The teen center will be adjacent to Nordic Landing, a roughly $10 million development designed as a low-income affordable housing option. Debbie Shantz Hart, co-owner of DHTC Development LLC, the developer of the 41-unit, nearly 40,000-square-foot apartment complex at 810 W. Catalpa St., said it is set to wrap by first-quarter 2024, according to past reporting. Hart said this morning the project should receive a certificate of occupancy by March.

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