The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland are planning to expand their southern Calvert County operations by opening a teen center this fall in Lusby.
The new center would be located in a large trailer that once housed a Boys & Girls Club in North Beach. The modular structure, which served up to 70 teenagers a day, was moved this summer to make way for the North Beach club's construction of a $2.1 million center on the site.
The teen center in Lusby would be located on land donated for three years by Chesapeake Ranch Water Co.
"I think that everyone realizes the need for us to get down there and get the kids off the streets," said Pamela Wilkerson, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland.
Wilkerson said the group hopes to open the new center by Nov. 1.
But first the organization needs to receive special permission from the Calvert County Board of Appeals. Zoning for the proposed site at 11560 H.G. Trueman Rd. does not automatically permit a nonprofit institution, but Wilkerson said she expected the club will be allowed to open. The board is scheduled to discuss the issue Sept. 1.
Elsewhere in Calvert, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland run a program for 80 to 100 youths at Appeal Elementary School in Lusby.
This summer, the group began a program at nearby Dowell Elementary for about 120 children, but Wilkerson said that program will not operate there again because of budget and logistical issues.
She said a group goal is to eventually move the two elementary school programs and the teen center into a permanent building on land on Appeal Lane in Lusby that the Calvert Board of County Commissioners donated to the group. The organization plans to begin a capital campaign to raise money for the building by 2008.
"There is such a great need for youth programming in the southern area of Calvert County," Wilkerson said. "I think people are very encouraged by what we're trying to do for the kids."