- 17,000 square feet
- $4.25 million project
- Serve five times as many kids (250 teens/day)
- Innovative workspaces such as a culinary kitchen, music studio and career exploration
The Don and Beverly Gardner Center for Great Futures will be inspiring and appealing for middle school and high school students. The architecture plans call for a 17,000-square foot facility that will include a teaching kitchen with cooking stations where kids can learn to make healthy meals, music rooms for members interested in performing arts such as dance, theater and music, a technology center with the latest tools for educational enrichment, career exploration, fun, interactive gaming, and movie making, an indoor gymnasium for basketball and various activities that promote exercise and fitness, outdoor space for gardening and physical activity, efficient administrative space, and other multi-purpose indoor and outdoor space.
The Center for Great Futures will be located adjacent to the school district’s new College and Career Center in southeast Lawrence. The partnership between the schools and Boys & Girls Club is already strong, meaning some key spaces can be shared rather than being duplicated. The Lawrence College and Career Center facility will provide Club kids access to a science lab, robotics, a 3D printer, blended learning and technology workspaces and much more.
Because of the partnership, both facilities will be in use during school, after school and during the summer. When construction is complete, the Boys & Girls Club teens will go from 6,000-square feet of space in their current facility to an impressive 50,000-square feet.
The fact that the new Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center will be at the same campus is also a benefit, as kids can see additional career possibilities. As a result, more young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, will graduate high school with a plan for the future. This will have long term positive effects on the local economy.