[8/14/17] Boys And Girls Club Facility Planned For Malaga

Posted in Education

MALAGA — The Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County has signed a long-term agreement to lease 24 acres along the Malaga-Alcoa Highway from the Malaga-Colockum Community Council for a Club facility and a community park.

Of the 24 acres, 21.5 acres are for a Boys and Club facility and 2.5 acres are to be developed into a community park. The land is located just north of the Malaga Market.

The 25-year lease agreement, with an option to lease for an additional 25 years, requires the Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish County to develop the property for the intended uses within seven years. If it does, Boys and Girls Club has an option to purchase the site.

The Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish County, which serves more than 20,000 youth ages 5 to 18, is the umbrella organization for several clubs in Washington state, including the Boys and Girls Club of Brewster. When built, the Malaga facility would be the first Boys and Girls Club in the Wenatchee Valley.

The agreement came together after several months of negotiations.

Our goal has been to expand Boys and Girls Clubs into the Wenatchee Valley. Brewster was the starting point but the greater Wenatchee area has been on our radar screen from the beginning. We want to thank the Malaga-Colockum Community Council for this opportunity to help kids,” said Bill Tsoukalas, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County.

Developing a new Boys and Girls Club is an action item in the Our Valley, Our Future community building initiative. Lead partners in the Our Valley project are the Boys and Girls Club of Brewster and the Malaga-Colockum Community Council. Our Valley, Our Future has provided legal and planning assistance to the Boys and Girls Club over the past few months.

This partnership is such a collaborative effort,” said Brian Paine, unit director of the Brewster Boys and Girls Club. “This really is the grand way of doing things.”

Efforts to build a Malaga park date to 1979. The property was purchased by the Malaga-Colockum Community Council in 2004. But the Community Council has since determined it does not have the money and resources to develop a fully functioning park and then maintain it.

There have literally been dozens and dozens of people working for many, many years to get a park developed in Malaga,” said Herb Gardner, Community Council chairman. “The Boys and Girls Club, with its youth activities and after-school and summer programs, seemed like a good match. They have more resources than we do.”

Malaga has not had a focal point since 1969 with the closing of the school,” added Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay, a former Malaga-Colockum Community Council chairman who participated in negotiations. “This creates that focal point, where people can go and where events can be held. With growth potentially going that way, this can be a crown jewel of the community.”

A facility design has yet to be done, but Boys and Girls officials have discussed constructing a gym, activity rooms, teen center, computer lab, and outdoor sports fields and courts for the Boys and Girls Club, and ball fields, picnic areas and restrooms for the community park.

A capital campaign is to be launched once a site plan has been developed and feedback is received from community leaders and residents, officials said. Paine said the plan is to build the community park first and then the Boys and Girls Club facility.

We now have an opportunity of reaching all of our kids in North Central Washington,” Paine said.

The Boys and Girls Club project is one of 156 action items in the Our Valley, Our Future Action Plan (http://www.ourvalleyourfuture.org), released in November 2016.

It’s a vital part of Our Valley, Our Future because few things are created just for kids,” Paine said.

All of the projects in the Our Valley Action Plan were originally identified by residents as ones that will improve the region’s quality of life.

It is great to see the Boys and Girls Club and the Malaga-Colockum Community Council come together on this project,” said Steve Maher, Our Valley, Our Future coordinator. “One of Our Valley’s core values is collaboration and this project is a shining example of that. It will benefit not only youth but the overall community and specifically the Malaga community.”

Boys and Girls Clubs provide activities that support character development, academics and healthy living for youth ages 5 to 18. The program seeks to inspire and help young people from all backgrounds to achieve their full potential as productive adults and responsible citizens.