Is it good for the kids?
That’s the question everyone who steps onto our project at the corner of 25th Street and Forest Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, will be asking themselves. This corner, on the Drake University campus, will be home to the new Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club ― the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa’s first family club that will welcome students from kindergarten to 12th grade in a high need area of the community.
This 11-month project broke ground on May 21. The 21,000-square-foot facility, designed by Shive-Hattery, includes a gym, gaming room, several conference areas, staff offices, cafeteria and playground space.
What will make the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club unique is its location. The club will be just the third in the country on a private university campus, increasing access BGCCI members have to role models from whom to learn and making a higher education institution like Drake a beacon for the youth as they advance up the Club Pathways.
Upon being awarded the job in 2017, we sat down with both the BGCCI and Drake University to talk through project goals. This resulted in a thoughtful Top 10 list that would enable a successful build while also supporting the missions of each organization. The question, “Is it good for the kids?” kept surfacing during those conversations, making it goal No. 1.
Another important item to the client is staying within the budget. Donations were solicited and a capital campaign was initiated for the construction of this facility. The Weitz preconstruction team then worked hand-in-hand with Shive-Hattery to design and plan the project so it has every opportunity to remain on budget and on schedule during construction.
Our project team will be working to get the build done as quickly as possible so the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa staff and youth can use the space by summer of 2019.