Waynesboro’s Boys & Girls Club welcomes kids back into building nearly 2 years after fire

The Boys and Girls Club in Waynesboro is welcoming kids back into the building nearly two years after a fire.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 12:54 PM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - The Boys & Girls Club in Waynesboro was forced to find a temporary home when a small kitchen fire set off a chain of events that pretty much destroyed the inside of its building nearly two years ago. Now, kids are being welcomed back inside the newly renovated building.

“We try to look on the bright side of things,” Tom Hardiman, interim director and a club board member, said. “Not that I’d wish a fire and COVID on anyone, but it did give us an opportunity to reassess our needs and layout the club in a more efficient way.”

They gutted everything and built back better.

“This is our cafeteria-slash-arts & crafts room. This is our teen center for our middle school kids,” Hardiman said as he gave a tour of the space. “Rooms for private tutoring and mentoring.”

There’s also a computer lab, a commercial kitchen, a culinary kitchen for kids programming, and a new library.

“We want them to have a fun space where reading is fun,” Hardiman said.

“It’s such a happy place here,” Faison Nuckolls Dana, a club board member, said. “It’s just the whole space is happy.”

Getting it all done was no small task: “Like everything else during COVID, it just took forever to get the building, you know, the permits and the materials and the contractors lined up, and the... everything,” Hardiman said.

But, with a lot of support and help along the way, they did it, and the kids are happy.

The Boys & Girls Club in Waynesboro currently has about 30 kids, but it expects to be serving 125 kids by next school year.

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