Two, Possibly Three Boys and Girls Club Plan to Close
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WZDX) - Two local Boys and Girls clubs are shutting their doors and a third may be added to that list.
The Boys and Girls Clubs at Farley Elementary and McDonnell Elementary (also known as the Southwest location) will be closing their doors at the end of this school year. The McDonnell Elementary kids will be bused to other programs, but the Farley kids won't; and that has parents upset.
"They're wonderful at what they do down there. And to close it in South Huntsville would just devastate everybody," says Michelle Matthews, a parent at the Farley Boys and Girls Club.
A letter has been given out to parents at the Farley Boys and Girls Club saying the organization will close its doors May 23rd. The news has families, like the Matthews, up in arms.
"Without the Farley Boys and Girls Club, we will have to look at full-time daycare for my six-year-old Sarah, and that's going to run, especially over the summer, easily $500 to $600," Michelle says.
"At the Boys and Girls Club, I used to do basketball," said her daughter Sarah.
The club just opened its doors back in 2011. We spoke with the Boys and Girls Club leaders by phone Wednesday night. They say in the past 14 months, they've lost more than half a million dollars in funding, making for tough times.
The organization also says because of the Huntsville City School District's rezoning plan, they want to focus more on inner city locations.
That's because locations like Farley and the McDonnell (Southwest) location have low attendance numbers, only averaging about 30-50 students per day.
As a comparison, they serve 1200 students during the summer through all the locations combined.
"We would like to ask the Board of Directors, what do the parents, what does the community have to do to keep it open. They need to let us know," says Michelle.
A group of parents are holding a public meeting at the Farley Boys and Girls Club on April 8th at six o'clock.
The Boys and Girls club also told me there is a possibility of a similar Huntsville city school program coming to the south side, but the organization didn't have any further details on that program.
The Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama is also looking at closing the Tanner location, but a final decision hasn't been made yet.