Farmington Boys & Girls Clubs gym renovations underway

Nonprofit was awarded $50,000 grant from Lowe's Foundation

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • New bleachers, gym flooring and projection systems will be installed.
  • Volunteers from area businesses helped remove the old gym equipment.
  • The project is scheduled to be completed around Aug. 12.
Marc Riddel of Aztec Well removes a bench from the bleachers in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington gymnasium on Tuesday.

FARMINGTON — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington has received a grant worth $50,000 to help fund renovation work on its 20-year-old gymnasium.

Volunteers and club staff members started demolition on portions of the gym this morning as the nonprofit organization hopes to have new bleachers, flooring and projection systems installed by Aug. 12, according to executive director Maria Rodman.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington was awarded a $50,000 grant in May from the Lowe's Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the home improvement store chain, as part of a program called Renovation Across the Nation, which selects one Boys & Girls Clubs organization in each state to receive a $50,000 donation.

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Brian Pike, store manager of the Lowe's in Farmington, and several of his employees were on hand this morning removing the bleachers on the east side of the gym.

He plans to have about six employees at the site volunteering for each day of the project.

"It's a great feeling to be a part of something like this," Pike said.

Chris Riley of Riley Industrial Services helps remove a bench from the bleachers in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington gymnasium on Tuesday.

A lot of Pike's employees remember using the Boys & Girls Clubs as children, which makes the project important to them.

Volunteers from local businesses, including Aztec Well and Riley Industrial Services, also helped by removing bleachers, pulling portions of the old flooring and helping haul the garbage out to a trash bin in the parking lot.

Club staff members and teen volunteers also assisted during part of the demolition.

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The most exciting part for Rodman is seeing members of the community come together to volunteer on the estimated three-week project.

"I'm so excited for our kids, and I'm so excited for our staff," Rodman said.

New "tip and roll" portable bleachers 21 feet wide and 70 feet long will replace the bleachers that were installed along the walls of the gym. The new bleachers will give staff the flexibility to use the gym as a multi-purpose space, Rodman said.

Nick Ritter, left, and Taylor Henson push wheelbarrows full of old bleacher seats to a trash bin outside the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington on Tuesday.

A new Sport Court modular floor will be installed that is designed to look like the hardwood floor of a basketball court. Rodman said the new floor tiles will be much nicer and provide more "bounce" when children are playing in the gym.

Two projectors and projection screens will replace the two scoreboards installed on the south wall of the gym. The two systems will be used as scoreboards for the sports leagues and could be used to show videos for training or movies for children.

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The project is estimated to cost about $120,000, and the club has raised about $100,000 of the funds required.

The club received a $5,000 donation from the Granger Foundation, and $45,000 came from the sale of land the club owned.

The $100,000 will cover the new bleachers, flooring and projection systems.

If the club raises the remaining $20,000, it hopes to replace the gym divider curtains and equipment that operates the curtains, Rodman said.

Work on the project is expected to be completed around Aug. 12 before the club hosts after-school programs and its sports leagues begin their season.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the gym will be held before the club's annual commemorative barbecue on Sept. 22.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.