Boiler may be key to opening Boys & Girls club

Jun 28 2013 - 9:57pm

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FARMINGTON -- A reclaimed boiler from the old Wasatch Elementary School may be the key link in helping start a Boys & Girls Club in Layton.

The boiler resolves a key stalling point in making the armory at Central Davis Junior High School available for club activities. After negotiations that have gone on for almost a year, the issue of maintenance of the facility became the big hang-up, with replacement of the boiler as the single biggest obstacle.

Chris Williams, a spokesman for the Davis School District, said Christine Thomas, rental coordinator for the district, recently met with club officials and reached an agreement to use the armory. Williams said the district and the city will split the cost of installing the reclaimed boiler.

Val Stratford, head of the Layton Community Action Council, has actively tried to get a club started in Layton for more than a decade and thought he was close last summer, before negotiations broke down between the city and district.

The city rents the building from the district, but club organizers have reached an agreement independent of the city to use the facility, said Gary Crane, city attorney.   

The club is expected to use the facility for several hours before the city has use of the facility. 

In his effort to get a chapter up and running in Davis County's largest city, Stratford has struggled with more than just a place to meet.

The local organizer estimates it will take $100,000 in operational funds to offer programming to youths after school.  He said he has been in a fundraising mode for most of the year in hopes of cobbling together support for the initiative. He wants to offer programming for up to 100 kids as part of a club setup.

There is a chapter of the club in Clearfield, which Stratford had a hand in helping initiate several years ago. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America are based in Atlanta. The clubs offer programs that include character and leadership development; educational and career development; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and other programs aimed at diversity and prevention.

Forming a local club is an outgrowth of the Communities That Care initiative. The CTC objectives have been embraced as part of the Layton City Council objectives.

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