Friday, La Crosse’s Boys and Girls Club will celebrate the grand opening of its newest West Salem location.
It’s located in a wing of the West Salem Middle School, moving from an old church in town.
Club director Mike Desmond hopes the West Salem site will be popular with older youths.
“We’re able to create a team center like we did at both La Crosse sites,” he said. “We would anticipate our teen center would double or triple in average daily attendance because that’s typically what happened in La Crosse.”
The opening of the middle school club comes eight years after the West Salem branch had to move out of an old clinic because the roof caved in under a heavy snowfall.
The snow-covered roof of the old clinic collapsed on New Year’s Eve of 2010, when the building was empty.
“We took over a wing of that middle school and we invested $2.5 million in the renovation of our wing — so it didn’t affect the referendum or certainly not paid for by tax dollars,” Desmond said.
More than 600 young people are members of the West Salem branch.