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New area Boys & Girls Club could soon take key step toward breaking ground

Plans for the new Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand have been submitted to the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board, moving the building one step closer to reality.

Currently, the club is temporarily located on Carver Street in what the kids refer to as “the little blue house.” CEO of the Boys & Girls Club’s Grand Strand branch Dione Buonto said that the location is too small to house the number of kids who partake in the program.

The new two-story, 16,000-square-foot building, to be located at Dunbar Street and Mr. Joe White Avenue, will be designed to encompass approximately 400 kids, about 150 more than the current location.

The design of the building is a “modern, unique, cool look that is going to accentuate Joe White,” Buonto said. “We just want to create a positive place for kids. I think the kids are deserving of something a little more up to date.”

Buonto said that the new center will feature a technology center located in both elementary and teen areas, an art room, craft rooms and a gymnasium. There are other plans to include a recording studio and demonstration kitchen that will work with Horry Georgetown Technical College to teach kids how to cook, but those will be dependent on funding.

“It’s the pie in the sky dream,” Buonto said. “We need some more community support. We’ve got good donor support.”

Burroughs & Chapin donated the land where the building will be located, and donations from the Chapin Foundation and NBA player Ramon Sessions have helped some dreams become a reality, such as the gymnasium, which will be named “The Ramon Sessions Basketball Center.”

Also, the Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand has partnered with HGTC to teach kids about various programs that it offers.

Architect LS3P is scheduled to appear in front of the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board on Thursday afternoon with a conceptual review of the project.

If the plans are approved by the board, Buonto hopes to break ground within the next 30 to 60 days.

“I’d love to give them a building they can be proud of and that they can learn and grow in,” she said.

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic

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