Rockwood Boys & Girls Club cuts ribbon on new facility
A crowd of local dignitaries, donors and others gathered in the courtyard of the new Rockwood Boys & Girls Club Monday to cut a ribbon and officially open the building.
The Oct. 2 event clears the way to welcome children the following Monday, Oct. 9, into the 30,000 square-foot facility at 165th Avenue and Stark Street for after-school and summer activities, meals and supportive resources.
"I knew we really needed to be out here," Erin Hubert, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area told the crowd. "After school is the roughest hours for kids. It is when they get into trouble."
Several speakers referenced the Sunday, Oct. 1, massacre on the Las Vegas strip and an alleged domestic violence murder that apparently happened in the early hours of Monday, just blocks away from the club.
"How do we, as supportive adults, show up in a time when youth need us the most?" said Imani Muhammad, who will run the Rockwood club.
The Boys & Girls Club is part of a striking 4-acre complex at 165th and Stark.
The club will serve students ages 6 to 18 with most of them likely come from Reynolds, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, David Douglas and Portland school districts.
Open School East, which serves middle and high school students who have struggled in traditional schools, was the first to open there in 2016. The nonprofit New Avenues for Youth, which serves homeless youngsters, young victims of sex trafficking and others, also will provide services on the campus.
Two new futsal courts donated by the Portland Timbers soccer team and others were dedicated last week.
After school, children will get a full, hot meal and a snack. They can also take advantage of a full-sized gym, sponsored by Nike, and play sports against teams from other Boys & Girls Clubs. There is an art room, a learning center and technology lab to give students a place to do homework, receive tutoring, participate in computer coding programs and more.
Other options might include dance, yoga, and art of various types such as ceramics, painting or printing.
Portland Trail Blazer star C. J. McCollum, who attended the ribbon cutting, donated the "Dream Center," which will be outfitted with staff and materials designed to help children and youths to think and dream big.
A separate teen center, sponsored by the Johnson Family Trust, will give older members a place of their own. It includes a recording studio that will eventually be outfitted with equipment.
The club also will provide services for youths and families to tap resources to help them solve problems.
"I am so excited for this," said Sen. Senator Laurie Monnes-Anderson, D-Gresham. "East County has needed something for its youth."