Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee hosted community leaders and the public for the reopening of the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Sherman Park located at 3000 N. Sherman Blvd on Wednesday, March 8. The building has been closed to the public for significant renovations since the end of August 2016, when it completed summer Club programming. The county closed the building for safety while they invested $2.3 million to put a new HVAC system in the 25-year-old building and Boys & Girls Clubs seized the opportunity to upgrade all the spaces that their members utilize every day. The Club began welcoming back staff, Club members and other community members starting February 20.
Every room in the 57,000 square-foot building was touched by the major renovations, which required 418 gallons of paint, 3,590 square-feet of carpet, 13,460 square feet of colorful rubber flooring, more than 200 pieces of new furniture and more than 1,200 new light bulbs. The Club contains several spaces designed specifically for the different age groups it serves, with programming tailored to their development, including 5-6 year olds (“mini-pals”), 7-8 year olds (“pals”), 9-12 year olds (pre-teens, or “cadets”), and 13-18 year olds (“teens”). These renovations have been made possible through the generous financial and in-kind contributions of Milwaukee County, Lowe’s Companies, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Northwestern Mutual, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Grainger and VJS Construction.
In addition, HGA Architects is designing a new teen center within the Club that will better serve the neighborhood’s teen population. When completed, the new space will include a music studio, computers, a quiet study spot and areas for socializing and collaboration.
“We are thrilled to be re-opening our doors at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Clubs in Sherman Park after extensive remodeling,” said Vincent Lyles, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “For decades this Club has been a home away from home for local children and teens. Now it’s a more vibrant and comfortable space that continues to offer safety, free meals, homework help and life-changing programs for children and teens.” Other community leaders and attendees who spoke at the event included Teig Whaley-Smith, director of the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services; Milwaukee Ald. Khalif Rainey; and Tamarra Lee, mother of three students who attend the Mary Ryan Club. A ribbon-cutting ceremony followed to officially reopen the newly renovated Club.
In addition to this event, an open house will be held on Saturday, April 15 from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. so community members can see the inside of the Club and parents can explore the idea of registering their kids for a Club membership. Because of the many partnerships that the Club has, the Milwaukee Police Department’s Easter egg hunt will also be taking place that day.
The Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club not only serves Club members during critical times, it has been a long-standing pillar in the Sherman Park neighborhood, partnering with and hosting many community organizations, programs and events such as Milwaukee Police Department programs (including youth job fair and hosting community meetings following “unrest” in Sherman Park), Hunger Task Force quarterly food distribution to families in need, Milwaukee Public Schools Online Graduation Program, Boy Scouts programing, Safe & Sound Vehicle Theft Deterrent Program, Sherman Park Community Garden Program, United Way Events, and more.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and how to get involved, visit www.boysgirlsclubs.org.