The Williams Unit will be named the O’Reilly Unit
Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield announced that their capital campaign goal of $1.2 million has not only been reached, but exceeded. The campaign, Invest in Great Futures, raised a total of $1,310,700, in less than a year, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the organization’s first capital campaign since the Sertoma Unit Capital Campaign at Sherwood Elementary.
The focus of the fundraising effort was to build a new Club at Williams Elementary in the Tom Watkins neighborhood. With the recent bond issue passing, BGCS had the opportunity to strengthen their partnership with Springfield Public Schools. Williams Elementary is currently undergoing a renovation and reconstruction. Proposition S was a $168 million bond proposal for Springfield Public Schools, which will fund facilities improvement projects at more than 35 schools. Needing about 57 percent approval, it passed with over 60 percent.
The conversation about better serving Williams Elementary students began in February 2019. At a meeting with Springfield Public School Superintendent, Dr. John Jungmann identified Williams as a high-need school that would greatly benefit from a Boys & Girls Club. He stated, “The Sertoma Unit has served as an excellent model for before and after school care.”
Through a major gift of $500,000 from the O’Reilly Wooten Family, the new Club will be named the O’Reilly Unit at Williams Elementary. The O’Reilly Wooten Family and BGCS are also excited to launch a new workforce development program with the opening of the new Williams Club that will make an impact on the lives of many Club families.
“It is difficult to adequately express my gratitude for the O’Reilly Wooten family and this community. It was an integral part of our organization’s vision to expand services and better serve our kids and families. The O’Reilly Wooten family helped make this vision a reality. They have always been very supportive and what is so special about this relationship is that the O’Reilly Wooten family is not just passionate about our mission, but they are also actively committed to helping us launch an intentional workforce development program that has the potential to change the trajectory of local family’s lives.”
“As a family, we are all thrilled to be a part of this incredible project and to assist with the amazing work of the Boys & Girls Clubs in supporting, lifting and shaping the kids and families in our community that need it the most,’ said Tim O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer at O’Reilly Hospitality Management, LLC. “Personally, I am also looking forward to my company working with the Club to initiate the workforce development program, where we can help Club kids and their parents prepare for and find employment opportunities and fight for a better future. This project is just all around a win, win, win for our community.”
The O’Reilly Unit will have a 4,000 square foot dedicated Club space and use approximately 18,000 square feet of shared school space, such as the gym, cafeteria, tech lab, library, restrooms, art room and other designated areas.
Construction started in June 2020 and is expected to be completed by May 2021. The Sertoma Unit has been a very successful model and the intention is to use some of those successes to guide the direction of the Williams project.
The new Boys & Girls Club unit is scheduled to be open August 2021. Design and bid conversations have occurred since November 2019.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield do an incredible job serving many thousands of young people in our community,” said Jon Risdal, Invest in Great Futures Campaign Chair and long-term board member with the Clubs. “They provide a safe, caring, inclusive and fun place for youth to grow, learn and develop. During the Covid-19 response we saw the direct impact the Clubs have on the lives of many Club families in this community, especially in the Tom Watkins neighborhood. Thank you for all the generous supporters in our community for making this capital campaign a success and investing in great futures.”
Upon completion of the new Boys & Girls Club, we will serve around 500 children per year with an anticipated average daily attendance of 200 members.
The statistics for the O’ Reilly Unit at Williams speaks volumes regarding the community’s need for this Clubs
Enrollment: Will be 100 Pre-K and 350 K-5
F/R Lunch Rate: 87%,
ELA Below: 48% and Math Below: 46%
Feeder: Hillcrest High School
Neighborhood: Tom Watkins
Median Household Income: $28,271
Below Poverty Level: 40%
College Graduation or Higher: 7%
City Zone: One
Estimated Costs for the project:
Architect fees: $40,000
Two-Year Operations Budget: $550,000Donate to Williams Campaign
We are thankful for our sponsors!