Credit: David Perdue | Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE — After 25 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Copperas Cove is about to get a permanent home.
More than 30 people gathered in a empty field on Laura Street Thursday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off what will be a six-year campaign to build a gym and permanent club facility for the group.
“The Boys & Girls Club of Copperas Cove has never had a permanent home,” said Daniel Hall, the vice president of resource development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas. “(We’ve) survived through peaks and valleys through the generosity of community partners...(and) today I’m pleased to report we have a home for the future.”
The hope is to have two portable buildings on the site sometime this fall. The group has raised about $75,000 toward the $100,000 needed to develop the site, put in parking and fencing, create a passive recreation space and do basic landscaping work.
Then the harder work begins.
“By the end of...2021 we hope to have developed on this site a 4,000 square foot gymnasium and teen center with an estimated cost of $700,000,” Hall said.
Phase 3 of the project will be to build a permanent club facility. That space would be modeled after the Gatesville Boys & Girls Club building, which Hall called “amazing.” The estimated cost of that phase is $2 million, with a hope to open sometime in 2025.
“The Boys & Girls Club...has been looking for a permanent hone for a very long time,” Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz said before the groundbreaking, “On behalf of the city council and the citizens of Copperas Cove, we’re so very excited...it’s a good day for Copperas Cove and it’s a good day for the kids of Copperas Cove.”
Khrystal Westeen has spent 10 years working for the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club, and Thursday was the realization of much work and planning.
“Excitement, joy and happiness,” Westeen said when asked how she was feeling following the groundbreaking. “This is something we’ve always needed and wanted, and we’ve finally got it and we’re headed in a good direction.”
Westeen serves as unit director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas. She has a short answer when it comes to what she’s looking forward to most at the new facility.
“More kids,” Westeen said. “I want to help more kids in the community...do more activities and run more programs. There’s just so much potential that can happen with us having a new building.
“I’m excited just to implement anything new and just especially taking more kids from the community that need us.”
Hall said anyone interested in donating toward the project can visit bgctx.org, select the donate button and select the Copperas Cove club.