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Massena Boys and Girls Club purchases social hall for $125,000

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MASSENA — Seven months after the purchase deal, the Boys and Girls Club of Massena has bought the St. Joseph’s Social Hall on Bayley Road as its home.

Club officials, including Massena Police Chief Timmy J. Currier, president of the board of directors, met Tuesday with real estate agent Lucy Kassian and the Rev. Scott D. Fobare, pastor of the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Church, to sign the agreement and make a down payment of $20,000.

The club has one year to pay off the $125,000 purchase, including the hall and 2 acres.

Mr. Currier said the club plans to open in 2014 after a committee assessing needed renovations has completed its tasks. The club plans to operate from 2:30 to 9 p.m., serving children ages 6 to 18.

Long-range goals include a homework room, a multipurpose art room, a room primarily for teenagers and a play area.

“One of the beauties of the Boys and Girls Club is that the kids and the parents decide what programming that you offer, based on need, based on their desire. So there’s a survey component,” Mr. Currier said.

“We are very thankful to Father Fobare, the parish council from St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s, for graciously working with us on the terms of this,” he said.

The former elementary school was built in 1960 for students in grades one through six.

At the beginning of 2013, Mr. Currier made his case for the club as a member of a steering committee aiming for the group’s formation. Back in January, as well as Tuesday, he noted the club’s partnership with Massena Central.

“A big component of the Boys and Girls Club is to help enhance the educational process,” he said, adding that alumni of Boys and Girls Clubs typically graduate at the 90th percentile.

Mr. Currier said efforts to raise the remaining $105,000 to purchase the property are ongoing. The club will apply for grants and do local fundraising.

“We’ve had great support so far from this community in various ways, whether it’s been events that we’ve planned and held. We’ve had a number of things that have been done by private citizens in this community where they’ve held their own fundraisers for our benefit, and we’ve had a couple of people do memorial contributions. When a loved one has passed away, they’ve identified the Boys and Girls Club as an organization that they’d like people to make memorial contributions to. So we’re thankful for all of the support that we’ve gotten,” he said.

The club is anticipating a minimum paid staff of five or six, including an executive director, programming and activities head and three or four assistants, according to capital campaign manager Bill Wolf.

The Boys and Girls Club of Massena office is at Town Hall, Room 9, 60 Main St., Massena, N.Y. 13662 and is accepting donations.

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