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NEW CHAPTER: Boys and Girls Club prepares for move to new facility

The Boys and Girls Club is looking for a new facility after the Troy Housing Authority decided to dispose of the Dunbar Drive property.

The club’s building has been leased from the Troy Housing Authority for more than 15 years.

The authority announced plans to dispose of the Dunbar property in November 2018 and the Pike County Commission voted to purchase the site last week for the construction of a new Pike County Jail.

Isaiah Thomas, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties, said the club’s mission will continue on as always despite the changes.

“The club’s not going anywhere for right now,” Thomas said. “We’re going to continue at our current location for about another year. We’re wrapping up our summer program now and are currently enrolling for our afterschool program.”

There had been some confusion about what would happen to the club since it is part of the Dunbar property that is being sold.

Now that the club is looking for a new home, Thomas said the organization is already considering several possibilities with a focus on maintaining the same level of service the club has been providing throughout the years.

“There will always be a Boys and Girls Club in Troy to serve the Pike County area,” Thomas said. “That’s not only from me, but also elected officials. The board is already looking at potential places for relocation purposes. We will be in Troy and we’re hoping to stay in close proximity to the school system. We’re also looking to possibly expand operations to the City of Brundidge.”

Whether the new facility remains in walking distance of the schools or a transportation service needs to be implemented, Thomas said the club is ready to do what it takes to provide stability for the kids that participate.

“We just seek to create safe spaces for these kids to grow and develop,” Thomas said. “That’s the spirit of our community. We want to take what we do outside of four walls.”

The support for the Boys and Girls club in this transitional time has been tremendous, Thomas said.

“We’ve seen a surge in community support,” Thomas said. “From our local governments to other community organizations to individuals, our financial support has doubled. The club is as strong financially as it has been in the past 10 years.”

Thomas said he sees the move as an opportunity for the club to expand and grow.

“The current building can hold 80 kids max,” Thomas said. “So with this opportunity, we are going to target maybe serving 250 kids throughout the school year. These are the cards we’ve been dealt and we’re going to play this hand to the best of our ability.”