Ohio’s newest Boys & Girls Club planning for second year

Maurice, a sixth-grader, does the shuttle run in the gym on opening day at the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty in the new location on Cincinnati Dayton Road in West Chester Township Thursday, Jan. 4. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Maurice, a sixth-grader, does the shuttle run in the gym on opening day at the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty in the new location on Cincinnati Dayton Road in West Chester Township Thursday, Jan. 4. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

At the one-year anniversary of Southwest Ohio’s newest Boys & Girls Club, officials there say they are faced with a good problem.

“We are full and we have a waiting list,” said Patti Alderson, board director for the West Chester and Liberty Township club and a top official with the Ohio alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs.

But Alderson said “we have a bunch of happy kids and they are doing great things and their parents are satisfied.”

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The waiting list, however, shouldn’t deter any parents who want their children to join the 30,000-square-foot, $6.9 million club located in Olde West Chester on Cincinnati-Dayton Road, just south of the Interstate 75 interchange.

Alderson explained the turnover on membership is high, with families frequently moving out of the area – and students ending their club membership to participate in after-school sports or other extracurricular activities - so the wait isn’t long for those families signing up their children.

“Parents should get on the waiting list because it’s constantly changing,” she said.

Though most of the youth membership comes from the Lakota Schools, which operate in both West Chester and Liberty townships, many other children and teens come from area parochial and other private schools, she said.

Moreover, membership is also open to those whose families live outside of Butler County, said Alderson, who added that a handful of members are children from the Princeton school system along the northern edge of Hamilton County.

Enrollment is about 300 with average daily attendance at about 150 students, which is in line with estimated projections at this point for the facility that features a full-sized gym, study rooms, game room, classrooms, clinic, café and outdoor basketball court, stage and outdoor playground.

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Dale Kozma, vice president of development for the club, said among the new focus for the center in 2019 will be recruiting more teens to join.

“Overall our enrollment is double what it used to be when we were in our old facility, so that is a amazing,” Kozma said.

“And in 2019 we will celebrate our overall five-year-anniversary of the club, and we are working on our summer program development … to make sure we are ready when the kids get out school,” she said.

For more information on the Boys & Girls Club go to the youth center's website .

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