Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana begins renovation of Hammond Club

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana begins renovation of Hammond Club

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana began its renovation of Hammond Boys & Girls Club on Monday. The project, originally scheduled to begin in late March but postponed for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, began with CORE Construction of Schererville instituting safety protocols and helping clean, remove and breakdown items to prepare the facility for upcoming demolition and construction. Boys & Girls Clubs president and CEO Ryan Smiley said that despite the delayed start, the organization expects the construction will be completed in time for the start of the school year in August.

The renovation is the result of a $1.6 million capital campaign Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana launched after being approached by an anonymous donor offering a lead gift of $500,000 and an opportunity for a dollar-for-dollar match up to an additional $500,000. To date, the organization has raised $1.519 million of its $1.6 million goal, including the anonymous donor and a $400,000 donation from Mayor Thomas McDermott and the City of Hammond, as well as additional donations from Hammond Machine Works, Peoples Bank, Chuck and Cindy Kreisl of Calumet Harley Davidson, Windustrial, Brian Gaspardo of O’Neill & Gaspardo, Sweney Electric, and another anonymous donor. Boys & Girls Clubs also received a $50,000 All-Star Legacy grant from the NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee.

To prepare for the renovation, Boys & Girls Clubs staff transferred the facility’s equipment to Lafayette Elementary School, which will temporarily house Hammond Boys & Girls Club once all of the organization’s Clubs reopen. All ten Boys & Girls Clubs in Porter and Lake counties have been closed since March 13 due to concerns about COVID-19.

The renovation will transform Hammond Boys & Girls Club into a modern, state-of-the-art facility with updated technology and a STEM lab, digital recording studio, rock climbing wall, full size gymnasium, community meeting room, and large Teen Center with a dedicated entrance. Smiley said the latter came about after having conversations with Club teens.

“Our teens told us they love certain aspects of the Club, but they wanted to have a space that was their own, separate from where the younger kids spend their time.”

Smiley hopes the renovation provides youth in Hammond some much-needed optimism during these unquestionably trying times. 

“There is a lot of uncertainty out there right now for our Club kids. Their schools are closed and many of their parents aren’t able to go to work,” Smiley said. “But we hope that knowing renovation has started gives kids in Hammond something to look forward to in the near future when things begin to return to normal. When all of this is over, they’ll have an amazing Club waiting for them.”