Boys and Girls Club begins move to the old Houston School campus
From Staff Reports
Aug 10, 2007 - The Boys and Girls Club of Hopkins County this week began the arduous undertaking of moving to its new facility at the old Houston School. Ideally, the move will be complete by Sept. 4.
�This move is a tedious one, but one that will be well worth the effort,� said Doug Smith, director. �The club will open its doors in a limited capacity at Houston School on Monday, Aug. 27, and hopes to have most of its things moved and be completely operational by Tuesday, Sept. 4.�
The Boys and Girls Club purchased Houston School from Sulphur Springs Independent School District in May for $100,000. The contract includes a provision which allows SSISD alternative programs to remain in the west side of the building (previously the location of the special education offices) for up to 5 years, which should give SSISD time to find a permanent location for the program, SSISD Superintendent Patsy Bolton said in May when the agreement was reached.
Once moved, B&GC will serve boys and girls from kindergarten through 12th grade with after-school and summer programs. Homework help, tutoring, drug and alcohol prevention, computer classes, fun and hands-on educational activities, and English as a Second Language classes will be among the programs conducted.
�The Boys & Girls Club believes that all youths are at-risk, no matter what their income level, and therefore need the positive atmosphere provided by the club and its caring staff,� said Smith, who was quick to attribute the club�s many helpers and supporters for the program�s success. They include Sulphur Springs ISD, Cumby ISD, the Eighth Judicial District Attorney�s Office, Hopkins County United Way, Wesley United Methodist Church, the city of Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, and "many more."
"Without the support of our collaborative partners, we would not be able to serve and help as many young people in Hopkins County as we do," Smith said. "And we could never say enough nor thank enough all of our dedicated donors who so graciously give to support our efforts."
While much work has been done — especially lots of painting — there are still needs to be filled at B&GC, hence the appeal to Houston School alumni and the community for help.
�The club is reaching out to the community, specifically Houston School alumni, and encouraging them to come on board and help with this transformation in whatever way they can," Smith stated. "It could be financial, in-kind donations of supplies, donation of good office furniture, paint, good, decent computers with wireless capability or carpet."
Some former Houston School students pledged to donate money, labor or services to help upgrade the location after learning of the May purchase.
Another way the Boys & Girls Club of Hopkins County Board allows for giving is to the recently established Memorial Fund. Donations may be made to the club in memory or honor of a loved one.
For more information about the Memorial Fund or ways to help, contact B&GC of Hopkins County Board President Charles Dawson or call the club at 903-438-8404.
Once the move to Houston School is complete, the current B&G Club facility at 201 East Houston St. is expected to be put on the market for sale to help with further upgrades and program costs.