STOCKTON — The city’s young people will have to wait a little longer for the return of the Stockton Boys & Girls Club.
Alan Korsgaden, one of a group of civic leaders working to bring the club back to Stockton, said this week that the reopening will not take place until September or October. Previously, club leaders had hoped the reopening would take place this month.
“Obviously, it’s a big disappointment, but we’re going to keep moving forward and we’re already working on plans for a couple of other centers,” Korsgaden said. “We’re anxious to get going, obviously, with the school year starting.”
Stockton, with more than 310,000 residents, is the largest city in the United States without a Boys & Girls Club. Late in 2013, the former club was stripped of its charter by the national Boys & Girls Club.
That action took place after Anthony Silva — who was Stockton’s mayor at the time and had resigned recently as CEO of the Boys & Girls Club — admitted he had bypassed applying for a $49,000 grant because he wanted to avoid a financial audit.
Nearly four months ago, a new group led by the head of the Stanislaus County Boys & Girls chapter announced plans to combine its chapter with a new Stockton site and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lodi and Merced County. Lincoln Ellis, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County, will head the newly combined chapter that will include Stockton. Ellis was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Korsgaden said Wednesday that working out lease details with St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, the landlord of the new south Stockton site, has contributed to the delay. Additionally, he said the club still is working with the city on the details of the use permit needed before services can begin.
“We’re in the process of moving forward,” Korsgaden said. “It’s possible (the delay) could be a couple of months.”
The new organization officially will be known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northern Central Valley. Officials previously have said the new Stockton club will have a budget of about $400,000 a year. The group’s plan is to serve 600 to 1,000 children a year at the start.
Down the road, Korsgaden said, there are plans for a second south Stockton location and a north side club. The second south Stockton site is closer to becoming a reality, according to Korsgaden, with an announcement possible as soon as late this month.
As for the St. Mark’s site, it previously was used by the YMCA and, at least 30 years ago, was home to the Stockton Boys & Girls Club, Korsgaden said. The facility has an activity center, a gym and classrooms.
Korsgaden said community members interested in providing support to the new Boys & Girls Club are welcome to pitch in. Anyone interested in donating materials and construction services is asked to call Korsgaden at (209) 607-5431.
Contact reporter Roger Phillips at (209) 546-8299 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rphillipsblog.