City Council Votes Yes On New Boys And Girls Club - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/28/05-Tyler

City Council Votes Yes On New Boys And Girls Club

There was a heated discussion this morning, surrounding the location of a new Boys and Girls Club" in Tyler. It's set to be constructed at the intersection of North Broadway Avenue and West 32nd Street. That's right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Those living there are not against a new Boys and Girls club, they just do not want it in their neighborhood.

"My main concern is that they are so insensitive to matters that are easily improved and matters that violate the safety of the general welfare of the community," said Andrew Melontree, concerned resident. The Boys and Girls Club says it has out grown its current location in downtown Tyler. The old church is hard to maintain.

"Your looking at about 120 kids that come through those blue doors and then come through these doors and that's a lot of ware and tear on the building," said Robbie Slocumb, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club. That's why the club asked the city council today to allow them to construct a bigger building in an area with more children. The club says the new location is perfect because it's by two schools and the Glass Recreation Center. It's also by a lot of homes. People living there say they are concerned about the G.E.D. program offered at the Boys and Girls Club.

"G.E.D. is a rubic of innocence, but I tell you it attracts a lot of flies," said Melontree. "As I pointed out to the mayor if it becomes a fact of question and i have to prove to you that they do adhere to felons over there I can do it. I know three right now." Teachers at the Boys and Girls club say these students want to be there.

"I've never felt threatened," said Beverly Gatlin, G.E.D. teacher. "I taught five years in Dallas, and I couldn't say that about Dallas." After listening to the Boys and Girls Club and several concerned residents for at least an hour, the city council unanimously voted in favor of the new location.

"We want this to part of their neighborhood and be apart of the kids that live in that neighborhood," said Slocumb. The Boys and Girls Club says it's very excited, and it wants the community to be involved in the building process. The new clubs still in the planning stages, but Slocumb says they will start building as soon as they get the money they need.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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