McDONOUGH — The Boys and Girls Club of Henry County will apparently be a go as early as next summer.
As part of the county’s SPLOST V project list, proposed seed money, totalling $2 million, has been reserved for the construction of two Boys and Girls Club facilities in the county.
Facilities will be constructed on the west side and the east side of the county, near schools designated as Title I schools. The facility on the west side of the county will be constructed near Oakland Elementary School, in the area of Avalon Park, said Dee Clemmons, Henry County commissioner, and the leader of the movement to bring the program to the county.
The facility on the east side of the county will be located in the area of the new McDonough Middle School.
According to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s Georgia School Grades Reports, Oakland Elementary School had a College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI score of 60.4 in 2018, a very low D grade.
Henry County Middle School, which is being replaced by McDonough Middle, had a CCRPI of 50.1, a failing grade.
The CCRPI, according to the Georgia Department of Education, has been the state’s accountability system for schools from grades K-12.
Clemmons told the Herald on Tuesday that Henry County’s program would be modeled after the program in Forsyth and Monroe County, which she said works with the local school system in an effort to be the most effective.
On Tuesday, Clemmons told the Herald that bringing in the Boys and Girls Club to Henry County has been 17 months in the making.
“We have had a conversation with the cities to see who wanted to partner with the county on the project,” Clemmons said. “We’ve had a positive impact and a verbal commitment with McDonough.”
A memorandum of understanding is being drawn up between the city and county government, Clemmons said.
Clemmons said that a meeting will take place on Aug. 5 with the superintendent of Henry County Schools to get the system’s thoughts on working together on the project.
“We’re really excited about it,” Clemmons said. “Boys and Girls Club meets so many needs, from educational needs to truancy needs. We’ll be committed to using their programs, and they’ll come in to operate.”
Clemmons spoke of advantages to bringing the Boys and Girls Club into Henry County.
“I grew up in Boys and Girls Club, and unlike the (YMCA), the Boys and Girls Club addresses the youth. The programming they have is great; it’s research-based programming. We’ll have access to that.”
Phillip Bryant, the CEO and president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, said he is “extremely excited” about bringing the organization into Henry County.
The Boys and Girls Club of Henry County-McDonough will be a part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia.
“We think this is the right direction for us to expand services, and we have received several phone calls asking if we were planning to come to Henry County,” Bryant said in a press release. “I’m hoping we can get the ball rolling.”
He also applauded Clemmons for her determination in working to bring the Boys and Girls Clubs to the county.
“She has become one of the biggest advocates for this, and none of this would have been possible without all of Commissioner Clemmons’ work,” he said.