The Boys & Girls Club in the Westwood neighborhood will close for the remainder of the summer after suffering serious damage from Wednesday night’s thunderstorms. Hailstones pummeled the building’s roof, leading to severe water leaks in the Club’s gymnasium and game room. A full damage assessment is still underway, but preliminary estimates put the total damage to the building in $100,000s.
The Club has more than 1,700 young members, ages 6 – 18 years old, who call the Club their second home during the summer months and after school hours. On average, more than 250 children utilize the facility every day, benefiting from technology, academic, leadership, arts and fitness programs. The Club – named the J. Churchill Owen Branch – was built in 1964.
John Arigoni, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s President & CEO, has assured the families that rely on the Club that the facility will open as soon as it is possible.
“We know how important the Club is to the Westwood community and hundreds of children every day,” Arigoni said. “We are working diligently with our insurance company and contractors to assess the damage and open the Club as quickly as possible.”
Maintenance staff, roofing crews and a disaster restoration company spent Thursday and Friday removing water from the roof, drying the interior and temporarily patching leaks to guard against more afternoon thunderstorms. Plastic sheets cover much of the roof, while a series of dryers and dehumidifiers operate constantly inside the gymnasium and common area.
A chorus of “boo” rang out in the gymnasium Thursday when staff announced the closure to kids. Staff is working on formulating a list of alternatives for kids and their families who otherwise rely heavily on the Boys & Girls Club for a safe, enriching place for kids to spend the day while their parents work. It is hoped that repairs can begin in the coming week, but meanwhile the Club will remained closed until it is safe.
How you can help!
Click here to donate now to Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, and stay tuned for a wish list of items that will need to be replaced at our Owen Branch.