Boys and Girls Club building for sale, program looks for smaller space

By 
Hunter Herbaugh
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Article Image Alt Text

The Boys and Girls Club of the MonDak - Dawson Unit is selling its current building and will be looking to find a new space. According to club CEO Elaine Steadman, the decision to sell the building was made with the intention of bringing down operating costs by finding a new, cheaper facility.

“Just because the building is being sold doesn’t mean the club is going away. We’re hoping to open in a smaller, maybe shared space in the fall,” Steadman said.

She explained that the current mortgage the club is paying on their building on Bell Street is unaffordable with the amount of kids that are enrolled in the program. Before a new facility is purchased though, Steadman said they are waiting to see how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic evolves and what the situation will be next fall.

“We’re still in the process (of finding a new building) right now. We’re waiting to see what happens with COVID and where we go from here,” she said.

The financial situation of the local Boys and Girl Club has been on shaky ground for a long time now. Back in 2013, it appeared as though the was close to closing its doors.

 

 

However, a plea for help from club officials saw a healthy community response, with the club receiving enough donations and fundraising successes to end that year with their finances in the black. The next year, in 2014, the club moved into its current location to accommodate a surge in enrollment in their after school program.

However, the situation for the club started looking murky again in 2018 when low enrollment in the club’s summer program forced the club to end the program early. This low enrollment continued into the after school program, necessitating a discussion by the Board of Directors regarding next steps and how to address the club’s shortcomings.

Out of those discussions, the decision was made for the Dawson County club and Richland County club to merge into one club. This was decided on so that the resources of both units could be shared while they continued operating separately.

However, despite the merger, the Glendive club still faced low enrollment in programs and staffing issues. Once the pandemic began, this made it much more difficult to operate as the lack of staff meant the club was not capable of implementing safety guidelines. With all those issues stacking on top of one another, the decision was made in May to close the club until the situation improved.

Reach Hunter Herbaugh at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

Category: