Grant to benefit Boys and Girls Club

Children spend hours before and after school working on homework, creating works of art or shooting hoops at the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club. They get adult supervision, on-hand tutors and exposure to arts, culture and civic development.

To better serve its diverse clientele, the club staff applied for a portion of the 2002 Community Development Block Grant funds provided to cities from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to renovate the 24-year-old club building.

Between 75 and 100 kids, from elementary through junior high, show up every day at the club for basketball, baseball, judo, flyfishing, academic assistance, arts and culture activities, and leadership development.

“There’s much more of a need,” said the club’s executive director, Shelley Puariea. “We’re seeing more kids every day after school.”

With the block grant money, officials hope to add a new computer lab along with a library and homework area that will be conducive to reading.

Usually, the club gets donated computers that, while appreciated, are out of date. Puariea said staff were excited recently to pull 10 brand new Gateways out of their boxes. The kids are lined up to use them.

“I’ve never seen them so involved,” she said.

Officials also want to reconfigure the games room so they will be better able to monitor the kids while they’re playing.

They also want to replace existing restrooms with Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms, and to relocate and expand the arts room for kids who aren’t interested in athletics or gameroom activities.

All told, the club asked for between $100,000 and $150,000 for the project. The Federal Way Human Services Commission allocated almost $124,000 in block grant funds.

Puariea said the renovation project could foster in the kids a sense of pride and ownership — good civic models for young people.

“We’re really excited about it,” she said.

Every year, local agencies submit block grant applications to the city for consideration. The Human Services Commission selects applications for funding based on federal and city criteria and forwards its recommendation to the City Council.

This year, six agencies applied. One applicant, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, wasn’t eligible for funding. The commission approved three of the remaining five applicants.

In addition to the $124,000 to the Boys and Girls Club, the commission approved $30,000 for the Glenwood Place Senior Residence project and $34,680 to the Westway Townhouses Rehabilitation project.

The commission declined a $155,000 request for childcare at Ocean Ridge Apartments and a $21,858 request for window weatherization at Oxford House South, located in the Twin Lakes neighborhood.

The commission recommendations are up for consideration at the council’s May 7 meeting.

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