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Hampton Boys and Girls Club stays open, community talks renovations to facility

HAMPTON, Va. - "This is what we have left so now we have that safe haven for the kids," said Whalen McDew, club volunteer and community activist.

The Boys and Girls Club on Shell Road has been something the community has been fighting to keep for months after discussions of the city buying the site to build a new fire station.

"All of us coming together as a whole in the community was real satisfying," McDew added. "It was also exciting to see how many people were really passionate about what was going on in the community."

Parents say they no longer have to worry about where or how to keep their kids out of trouble.

"They'll still be able to come here and enjoy the summer activities that they put on after school," volunteer Chris Belton said. "Parents sometimes have to work those long hours."

Now volunteers say they're focusing on making it a better place for the kids.

The Boys and Girls Club is trying to raise at least half a million dollars for capital improvements.

They said the facility needs many renovations including exterior repairs, a new ceiling and restrooms.

"The cafitorium is going to be torn down and turned into a gym, which we've been praying for a gym around here forever because we haven't had an indoor gym in a long time," mentioned McDew.

Volunteers said the new improvements will bring in more older children in hopes to get them off the streets.

"That will definitely be a positive to get those kids; they would love to see something like that to keep them off the streets. That would definitely be a big bonus," Belton said.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula said they're working with the community to begin fundraising soon.

Related:

Group protests potential closing of beloved Hampton Boys and Girls Club 

Boys and Girls Club in Hampton could close to build a fire station, community fights to keep it open