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Maytag plant to serve as home for Jefferson Co. club

June 17, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County will soon have a home in the former Maytag plant on North Lawrence Street.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club and officials from the Free Our Citizens of Unhealthy Substances Coalition are holding a ceremony today to make the announcement.

"I think it will be a good thing for the club and then we won't have to worry about getting into things (that are) not ours. The whole club will be ours," said Anthony Brown, 8, of Charles Town, who joined the club when it formed at the end of 1997.

Since December, the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County has used the Zion Episcopal Church parish house.

The club started out with about 30 children, but has rapidly grown to more than 250. It is open to Jefferson County children ages 6 to 18 who gather to play basketball, do arts and crafts activities, play checkers and go on field trips.

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The FOCUS Coalition negotiated with Maytag Corp. officials for the past five years to acquire the company's closed plant, said Karen Hoff, executive director of the FOCUS Coalition, a Jefferson County drug and crime prevention group. On May 15, Maytag officials donated the building, valued at $50,000, to the FOCUS Coalition.

The coalition is providing the building to the Boys and Girls Club through a no-cost lease agreement, Hoff said.

"The match of the Boys and Girls Club and the donated building has answered long-term needs and desires of the community," Hoff said.

Tim Grove, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said the parish hall has been a good home for the club, but it was meant to be used only temporarily.

The next step is to raise money to renovate the former Maytag building.

"With the community's support, we'll be able to fix it up wonderfully," Grove said.

Club officials plan to work with the children to see what types of games and rooms they want inside, he said.

"I think it'll be nice. We can do things there we can't do here," said Nick Banks, 10, of Charles Town.

Brown said the club's new home, on the Charles Town-Ranson border, will make it easier for children in Ranson, W.Va., to get to it.

"We'll get a lot of new members from Ranson," Brown said.

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