By Billy Stitz
The city of Flandreau has been awarded a $412,000 Community Development Block Grant to help build their 10,200-square-foot Boys and Girls Club building.
Recently, the city had sold a plot of land on the west side of the Bill Janklow Community Center to the Flandreau chapter of the Boys and Girls Club for one dollar. Since then, the City has been working with the club in order to apply for the CDBG from the state of South Dakota.
Last Monday, the city and club got the news that they would be awarded $412,000 to help them pay for the 1.5 million dollar facility.
“Centers like this provide positive activities for our youth. Since the Boys and Girls Club has the only before and after school programs for young people in Flandreau, this is an especially valuable project for the community,” said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard in his official press release.
The B&G Club has been trying to find a permanent home in Flandreau since it opened in 2007. Instead, they have had to settle for four part time locations. Although they are thankful for the opportunities they were given for those homes, they are relieved to know that they can start to get underway with a permanent home for the children in Moody County.
“Having a new and permanent location will help Flandreau’s youth education programs thrive. This is exciting news for all of Moody County,” said State Majority Leader, Russell Olson.
The club that serves between 50-100 Moody County kids per day started in Eastman Hall, thanks to the generosity of the Tribe. Then they moved to an Elementary Classroom thanks to the school district, followed by some time at the National Guard Armory, thanks to the National Guard’s generosity and are currently in the Extension Building on a month-by-month lease.
Vanessa Merhib of the Boys and Girls Club is very excited about the opportunity and knows that what they do could not be done without everybody’s help.
“The City of Flandreau has been an annual supporter of the Club, as well as a great partner in this process. So many in Flandreau have been as well and we feel that is why the Club has been so successful.”
The B&G club still has money to raise before they can officially start building their new location in Flandreau but with the CDBG is a valuable tool to help in the fundraising efforts from here on out.
Along with Flandreau, Brookings, Fort Pierre, Minnehaha County, De Smet and Twin Brooks were awarded Block Grants that totaled over 1.7 million dollars that will be used for over seven million dollars in combined project costs.
The CDBG is a reimbursement program - therefore, Flandreau will receive their funds as work is being finished.