Boys & Girls Club starting big renovation at Learning Lab

Apr. 23—The Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club is about to embark on a major renovation project at its facility in the Vigo County School Corp. Learning Lab, 55 S. Brown Ave.

The project, estimated at between $1 million and $1.5 million, will involve a main entry re-location, classroom expansion, additional programming space, replacement of flooring, lighting and furniture and new audiovisual and security systems.

The club, which occupies the former Meadows' School west wing, has an agreement with the district for the space and relocated its operations and most of its programming there in 2021.

THBGC has a shared space lease agreement with the school corporation.

"We're making the spaces more conducive for our young people to participate and making the areas a lot safer," said Bobby Moore, Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club CEO. The project also will upgrade technology and result in alarm systems on doors.

"The most important thing is that the kids have a safe place they can call home, somewhere they can feel comfortable and talk to staff members," Moore said.

Work on the renovation/upgrade is expected to begin in the next month and conclude in December.

The main entry will be re-located to the west set of doors near the gym, and a front counter will be located there so kids can be checked in. Additional safety protocols will also be implemented.

Grants have been written for new furniture to make it more age appropriate, Moore said.

Part of the project funding is through grants as well as a Lilly Endowment grant that provides a match.

Other key features of the project include:

—Administrative offices: Partitions and modifications will be made to create an administrative office area across from the new entry.

—Classroom expansion: Walls between two classrooms will be opened to create one large classroom space, optimizing the learning environment.

—Additional programming space: The stage area will be enclosed to create additional programming space, allowing for more diverse activities and events.

—Enhanced facilities: Upgrades will include the addition of doors in the hallway leading to the "Learning Lab," replacement of classroom flooring, lighting, ceiling tile, and window treatments, as well as the installation of modern, program-appropriate furniture.

—Improved infrastructure: The project will involve the installation of new audiovisual and security systems, an electronic door locking system, and upgrades to internet connectivity.

—Playground enhancement: Fencing and gates at the north end of the playground will be relocated, ensuring the safety and security of outdoor recreational areas.

The Boys & Girls Club after-school program serves about 95 to 100 kids per day, Moore said. It offers such things as homework help, mentoring, STEM activities, as well as a free snack and hot meal each day.

The hope is that the renovation will increase participation in programs, Moore said.

Moore praised the school district for providing the space, which helps THBGC meet student needs and offers young people opportunities to participate in other programs also offered at the Learning Lab.

It's anticipated that volleyball and basketball programs offered at the Chauncey Rose facility at 13th and Locust streets will be moved to the Learning Lab space in fall, Moore said.

To help support the renovation project and other needs, including student scholarships, the Boys & Girls Club will have a Derby Day fundraising event from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 4 at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.

"Run for the Races" includes dinner catered by Edibles, live bluegrass music, a silent auction, cocktails and bar, as well as opportunities to watch, bet, and win prizes

Attendees are encouraged to wear their best attire, with awards given for Best Attire, and to capture memorable moments in the "Winners Circle" with a rose-clad horse. The event is for those 21 and over.

Tickets to "Derby Day-Brims and Bowties" may be purchased online at

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at Follow Sue on X at @TribStarSue.