West Salem Boys & Girls Club needs more space - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

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West Salem Boys & Girls Club needs more space

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WEST SALEM, Wis. (WXOW) - In April West Salem voters rejected a referendum to build a new Middle School. The West Salem Boys and Girls Club had hoped to use the current school for its new facility. For the last three years the club has used the Hope Community Church as a temporary facility.

In December of 2010 the roof of the club collapsed, since then they've been renting space at the church. Executive Director Mike Desmond said, "We're extremely grateful, we were between a rock and a hard place."

Each day more than 100 kids go to the church after school. Twice as many kids come to the club compared to five years ago, and they don't all fit.

The church doesn't have a gym, which is a big attraction for the club. Instead, kids go to the park across the street, but that's not always easy, especially with the weather.

West Salem Site Director, Shawn McClone said, "It's really tough to not have a place for these kids to run around."

Most clubs separate kids by age or activity, but there's not enough room for that at the church. McClone added, "We're constantly doing things in larger groups which can be difficult."

While the West Salem Boys and Girls Club is grateful for this space they know it's only a temporary fix.

Desmond said ideally a permanent facility would be integrated with the school, but for now they are looking at all options to get them in a bigger space as soon as possible.

Desmond added that the School District would like to integrate the Boys and Girls Club into their plans, but the details need to be hashed out, and the school needs to re-evaluate its plans for the Middle School.

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