Ranchos Boys & Girls Club decision could come in August

A Boys & Girls Club in the Gardnerville Ranchos now hinges on swapping land with Douglas County and the General Improvement District board members' approval of a leasing policy.

After months of looking at a 20-acre parcel on Mitch Drive, 17 acres on Muir Drive across from C.C. Meneley Elementary School is now being targeted by the center's promoters.

The land is jointly owned by both the district and the county. The district voted Tuesday to ask the county if it would be willing to trade its portion of the property for other parcels located throughout the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District.

"We want to do some clean up of the site," said District manager Bob Spellberg. "We voted to request the land from the county so the Boys & Girls Club can have one entity on the lease."

Spellberg said he needs to put the request on the Parks and Recreation agenda before it would go before county commissioners for approval.

"We are pleased that the county and district are supportive of our project," said the community center's promoter, former NFL player JoJo Townsell. "Both groups are really working hard to give us the best chance to make this a successful project.

"We are very thankful for their efforts and if county and district establish an agreement concerning the Muir property, our advisory board will be thrilled to have the Muir site as the Boys & Girls Club Community Center location."

When the idea for a Boys & Girls Club in the Carson Valley was conceived, Townsell was working through the nonprofit organization, the MEFIYI Foundation, which has been promoting youth programs in Northern Nevada for the past nine years.

Now, a new nonprofit organization is in the works, with the name of the project still undecided. An advisory board met for the first time on Monday.

"The advisory board meeting was great," said Townsell. "Everyone who attended was very excited to have an opportunity to work on the Boys & Girls Club community center project. We are hoping to establish more community support for the project and organize workshops that will hopefully recruit new advisory board members.

"We also discussed the steps needed to become an official Boys & Girls Club chapter and will try next meeting to come up with a title name for the project."

Minor changes were made to the draft of the Gardnerville Ranchos land leasing policy Tuesday, and Spellberg said the policy will go before the board for the last time at the next monthly meeting.

"If our leasing policy passes in August, then we can sign with JoJo," said Spellberg.

- Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 213.


• The Boys & Girls Club, senior and adult activity center, is estimated to cost about $3 million.

• Funding for the 80,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor activity center would come from donations, fund-raisers and private grants, according to Townsell, who said most of his funding sources are ready to go.

• Planned for MEFIYI Foundation Community Works Center's Phase I is a 48,000-square-foot multi-use recreation center, including four 130-foot by 80-foot game areas with artificial grass installed, 1,500 square feet of administrative offices and reception area, a food concession area and mens and women's locker room. Also included is a 2,500 square foot teen center, two classrooms for computer labs and a conference room area.

• Central Sierra Construction would construct the building.

• Phase II consists of two football field-sized grass fields, a jogging and exercise area and six tennis courts.


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