The Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club has helped a lot of kids over the past 20 years, including current Executive Director Bud Taylor. As a child, Taylor found a home away from home at the club. As an adult, he is leading the effort to create a permanent home for the Club.
The Montrose facility is leased and located at 2900 Sunnyside Road. There is also a branch in Olathe, at 300 Hap Court.
The organization has moved around a bit over two decades, even including a stint in the space above the Daily Bread bakery, according to Taylor.
There has also been a high turnover rate in the executive director position over the years.
But, despite those difficulties, the number of kids served has continued to grow. “When I was a kid in the Club, we saw about 30 kids a day. Now, we’re seeing 100 kids every day,” the maximum capacity of their current location, Taylor said. About 600 kids are members. “When I was a Club kid, in the summertime, there were a lot of half-days. Now, in the summer, we’re running full-days.”
After his youth as a Club kid, Taylor went away to school and earned a degree in microbiology. He returned to Montrose five years later, took a job with the City of Montrose, and was appointed to the Black Canyon Club’s board of directors. Eventually, Taylor was hired as the Executive Director. “Some of the things I thought of were ‘what are the problems that we have?’’’
He concluded that a space of its own had to be high on the Club’s list of priorities. “Among the big things that I found was that we didn’t have a home. We still don’t have a home.
“One of the things that I saw is that the kids are not having the Club experience–they’re having a ‘baby-sitting’ experience,” he said
The concept behind the Boys and Girls Clubs is to provide a place where kids can relax, socialize, learn a variety of new skills from cooking to computing, and have fun in a supervised setting. “But when we’re so limited to the number of kids we can get in the door, we’re just not serving our community that well,” Taylor said.
So, “We want to build a new facility for the Boys and Girls Club,” he continued. “We want to quadruple the amount of space we have, and we want to have our own dedicated home.”
The effort is underway. “We have purchased land at the corner of 6700 Road and Niagara,” the executive director said. “This site fits our criteria. It’s six acres, with water rights. So, we’re very happy about that.” The building plans call for an 18,500 sq.ft. facility–four times the size of the current Boys and Girls Club. It will include a good-sized section dedicated to teenagers, said Taylor. “They will have their own lounge and their own classroom. And, they’ll have their own patio and gathering space. They’ll also have a music practice room.”
The teens will have a place to record their musical efforts, podcasts, and YouTube videos. They’ll have a tech lab, too, with up to 30 computers.
The new facility will also include a kitchen for budding chefs, a gym, an outdoor classroom, a game room, and a Quiet Room for kids who need to wind down and relax.
Of course, all of this takes money. You can donate by visiting the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club at https://www.bcbgc.org/im_in.