The Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County (BGCCC) announced Tuesday that they have purchased the former Exer-Flex Health & Fitness Center, located at 709 Palmer Street in Salida. The Club plans to move into the new building March 1 and says it will not miss a beat with the organization’s after-school programming.

During 2019, the Boys & Girls Club provided 233 days of programming for Chaffee County youth.

BGCCC Board Chair Duncan Campbell spoke proudly of this major step in the organization’s history saying, “We’ve been fortunate to have a home for more than 14 years thanks to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Salida School District. As needs and challenges have evolved for the 800 plus youth we serve each year, our strategic plan revealed the clear and urgent need for a permanent home with enough space to accommodate continuing growth.”

Campbell continued, “Our volunteer board members, investors, community leaders, elected officials, program volunteers, friends, staff and parents have all worked tirelessly to make this move happen. It will positively impact and help thousands of kids and families in our county. We strive for the gold standard in everything we do and our new facility in Salida will help us reach new heights with our kids and programs.”

New location for the Boys and Girls Club in Salida. Previously this served as the Exer-Flex Health and Fitness Center (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

BGCCC Executive Director Brian Beaulieu said he is looking forward to sharing the wonderful news with the Clubs’ members and parents. “As the most vital youth development organization in Chaffee County, our mission is focused on the youth we serve including their safety, needs, and interests.  Our kids deserve this new home. We can’t wait to show it off and welcome kids in!”

“The board of education and the school district are excited to support Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Salida School District superintendent David Blackburn, weighing in as the organization prepares to help more students.

Irene Alvarez, 12, a member for the last seven years, has seen the Club grow each year. Alvarez said, “I’m excited and can’t wait to see what the new [Boys and Girls] Club will look like.  It will be different and cool.”

The Chaffee County Clubs provide youth development programs for children ages six to eighteen, with a focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles, character and leadership.  Founded in 2005, the organization has served more than 7,500 youth members, with numbers growing each year. Finding a permanent home for the Buena Vista Boys and Girls Club is the next focus for the Club’s facilities committee. They are pursuing and evaluating several potential options at this time.

The Boys and Girls Clubs board, facilities committee members, and staff are working on an upcoming open house event. The Boys and Girls Club encourages and welcomes everyone in the community to take a look this spring. Those looking for more information about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County can visit their website at www.bgcchaffee.org.