MCDONOUGH — Henry County Schools is looking to support the vision of the Henry County Board of Commissioners and City of McDonough to bring the first-ever Boys & Girls Club to the area.

This comes after meetings between school district and county government officials, as well as representatives from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia.

Officials from the two government entities and the non-profit organization held their first joint meeting Sept. 18 and discussions at that time centered on the progress that the Board of Commissioners and city of McDonough have made thus far. As a partner in this endeavor, the Henry County Board of Education would lease a facility to the Boys & Girls Club and serve as host to the club’s programming.

Josh Hinton, Henry County BOE chair and District 2 representative, and Commissioner Dee Clemmons, also representing District 2 on the BOC, began discussions a few years ago about the opportunity. Recent developments have noteworthy progress being made toward bringing this nationally-recognized youth program to the county.

Part of the discussions between the school district and county government involves identifying a location to house the afterschool program, which also operates during the summer months. Officials on both sides feel that a decision on this key component for the club’s establishment is near, said JD Hardin, HCS spokesman.

“We have had great discussions with our county government counterparts on this opportunity to support our students in the impactful hours that occur after school each day,” Hinton said. “We feel encouraged by the ideas exchanged, and we are now doing our due diligence as a board to examine the feasibility and role our schools will play in this endeavor.”

During the Oct. 14 school board meeting, Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis shared that great strides have been made in clarifying the role of the Board of Education to support this effort.

“I appreciate the passion of our county leaders to support our youth through unique opportunities like the Boys & Girls Club,” Davis said.

School district officials, including District 5 board member Annette Edwards, have taken next steps to visit area Boys & Girls Clubs to see how their models might resemble what is possible for a club in Henry County.

Discussions continue between all parties involved about next steps.

The Board of Education will consider taking action in November on a possible facility to serve as a host site.

“Our multiple meetings over the past two weeks show the importance and value we place on a project such as this,” Davis said. “We look forward to what lies ahead.”

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