Wednesday, May 6, 2009

D.C.'s Boys & Girls Clubs in limbo as city weighs options

From the Voice of the Hill web site
A budgetary back-and-forth over the next few days may determine the future of several properties that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington has announced it no longer needs for its programs.

A closed-door meeting yesterday yielded little consensus among D.C. Council members aside from the promise of further discussions between legislators and representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs, said Ward 2 member Jack Evans.

Though Evans said that he is "mainly concerned with [Georgetown clubhouse] Jelleff," other council members are casting a wider net to address the youth services provider's proposals to sell clubhouses in order to reduce its massive debt. Four sites that the Boys & Girls Clubs organization has said may be sold are of particular concern to the council: Jelleff at 3265 S St. NW, Clubhouse # 10 at 2500 14th St. NW, Clubhouse # 11 at 620 Milwaukee Place SE and Eastern Branch at 261 17th St. SE.

One branch may soon be a done deal: Clubhouse # 11 recently went under a sales contract, club officials confirmed. Boys & Girls Clubs spokesperson Molly Boyle said she could not disclose the buyer, but sources said that the pending sale will put the Friendship Charter School group, which operates a nearby charter, in charge of the clubhouse.

The council is inching toward a citywide solution after Mayor Adrian Fenty, with Evans' support, proposed that the city buy only the Jelleff Branch for $15 million over five years. The proposal quickly proved politically untenable.

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