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New Clubhouse Breaks Ground, Finally

By Jorge Casuso

September 15 – It’s not usually a good thing when a construction project is three years late and more than $3 million over budget, but a new clubhouse in Santa Monica could be the happy exception.

By the time local Boys & Girl’s Clubs officials broke ground last Thursday for the new clubhouse at John Adams Middle School (JAMS), the project had grown from a $150,000 modular structure to a $3.5 million clubhouse that will support all 1,100 of the school’s students.

New clubhouse (Rendering courtesy of Killefer Flammang Architects)

The facility designed by Killefer Flammang Architects will replace the small classroom that currently serves some 300 students with a facility that boasts not only a games room, but a learning center and a technology and media center that includes a sound studio.

“Thousands of children on the Westside will benefit from this facility,” said Allan Young, CEO and President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “It’s based on a school site where we don’t have to invest in property. We invest in the kids.

“The kids in our community deserve that,” Young said.

“We got more,” said Dr. William Crookston, past president of the local Rotary Club, whose members donated more than $150,000 to keep the project going. “We got bigger, and it’s more beautiful.”

Schools Supt. Tim Cuneo, Police Chief Tim Jackman, clubs President Allan Young, clubs Chair Craig Mordoh and Dr. William Crookston break groud. (Photos by Lookout staff)

Plans to build the club, which officials hoped would open in early 2006 at a cost of $1.1 million, were delayed when State officials stepped in with a series of requirements that drove costs way up.

“I was very, very frustrated with the project,” said Crookston, who teaches entrepreneurship at USC. “I was so frustrated I became a thief and took $25,000 of unpledged money (from the Rotary Club) and sent it to Sacramento to make sure (the project) was blessed.”

The facility will help curb youth crime in Santa Monica, said Police Chief Tim Jackman, who is a member of the local Boys & Girls Clubs board.

“A third of all violent crimes are committed by juveniles between 3 and 7 p.m. on school days,” Jackman said.

“Clearly, after-school programs can help reduce that risk (and) improve behavior, as well as school performance.”

Clubs' Board at site of new clubhouse

The clubhouse will provide services to students six days a week, 12 months a year -- before and after school, during lunch and during vacation and summer holidays, according to club officials.

Members can participate in nationally renowned programs in the arts, athletics, drug, alcohol and pregnancy prevention, education, the environment, leadership development, career preparation, social recreation and technology, officials said.



Ted Winterer for Santa Monica City Council

Dr. Margaret


Vote # 158


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