Binghamton Boys & Girls Club Grand Opening

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Nov 20, 2009 at 12:14 AM EDT

After years of production and planning, the Binghamton Boys and Girls Club celebrates the grand opening of its new location on Clinton Street.

Action News Reporter Leigh Dana tells us how the effort to relocate all began.

For 75 years the Binghamton Boys and Girls Club welcomed children with open arms to play after school at its former Washington Street Location.

But accommodating them got tougher throughout the decades.

The club says it was outgrowing an aging facility.

"There was no parking. It wasn't a great location. It was right on the street corner," says John Burtis with the Binghamton Boys and Girls Club.

At the club's gala dinner in 2004, the board announced its plans to re-open at a bigger and better building in the first ward section on Clinton street.

And now five years later, it's celebrating the grand opening of its new home at 90 Clinton Street.

The 21,000 square foot two story building is modernized with activities for both teens and tots.

"The biggest thing is outdoor play. We never had outdoor play over at the other building," says Mary Beth Smith with the Binghamton Boys and Girls Club.

"You can play 8-ball, you can go to the gym, you can go in the art room, computers," says Krista Nguyen of Binghamton.

"I play games. The other day I finished this really big puzzle," says Shaniqua Johnson.

Johnson says the center's her home away from home.

"I've been coming here for 11 years. It's really helped me become a better community person. And I've been volunteering here sometimes. I think the club would be a great place for kids to learn different things we can't learn in school."

Better building blocks for brighter boys and girls.

In Binghamton, Leigh Dana, WBNG TV Action News.

The project cost $4.9 million.

It was paid for by numerous grants and fundraisers.

Although the club is still looking to raise $500,000 to break even on costs.

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