The Boys & Girls Club of Hartford (BGCH)’s South End Club broke ground. The socially distanced ceremony marks the beginning of construction and took place alongside state officials, community leaders, and representatives from the Boys and Girls Club on June 11th.

“We are proud to be a partner on this project and are honored to have the opportunity to touch the lives and hearts of the community through design of Hartford’s new South End Club,” said Jim LaPosta, FAIA, principal and chief architectural officer at JCJ Architecture. “Having worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford for over 25 years, it’s exciting to see this major expansion to their network of Clubs. Our goal has been to create an environment where children can thrive and realize their potential, and it is incredibly fulfilling to work with an organization that has had such a profound impact on the lives of children in Hartford, and indeed, youth across America.”

Currently serving 8,000 school age children in the city, where the organization was founded, the BGCH’s new location will reach an additional 1,500 children with a unique mix of after-school and wrap-around programs. JCJ Architecture sought to create a place that would support generations of local families from one dynamic facility, acting as a home-away-from-home for up to nearly one-third of school-age children living in the South End of the city and fostering skills and confidence through enrichment and social-emotional development programs.

“Like every organization and family impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford had to pause in-person operations to protect our staff and the children and families we serve,” said Sam Gray, BGCH president, and CEO. “Despite the challenges we have all experienced with COVID-19, we have stayed on track with this project and are moving ahead as scheduled with this beautiful new building. It’s so exciting to be able to celebrate the start of construction with the community partners, including the team at JCJ, whose support made the project possible and the South End families for whom we are building this clubhouse.

Founded in 1860 in Hartford, BGCH is the original and oldest Boys and Girls Clubs in the nation. The new club will be built on land donated by the City of Hartford in Hartford’s South End neighborhood at 129 Ledyard Street. The Boys and Girls Club of Hartford’s South End Club is slated to open in Fall 2021.