By Dave Maxwell 


Travis Crowder, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley spoke to the Mineral County Board of Commissioner Aug. 26.

His main focus was seeking to submit an application for CDBG grant funding for needs at the Boys & Girls Club facility in Hawthorne. 

Crowder shared a three-part plan in which they are asking for  $255,000. 

“The current home (in Hawthorne),” he said “is in need of improvement and I feel of the changes, some in part because of the virus pandemic, will benefit both parties extremely well.”

An HVAC system is needed to increase air flow and circulation. “The present system there is outdated as well as the boiler system.  We would also like to do some necessary bathroom renovations which will allow us to see an anticipated increase in membership by replacing some of the old showers with some additional stalls which I think ultimately would serve everybody better and easier to keep clean and sanitize.”

Crowder had a slide presentation for the meeting and showed the need to refinish some of the floors in rooms in the building, “which will help open the room to proper social distancing and making the cleaning of the floor significantly easier than at present.”

He spoke about an antiviral technology for multi-purpose floors similar to what is found in new hospital and gym facilities that have an antiviral, anti-bacterial additive.

He added, “We will need to bolster our current supplies and equipment to meet the anticipated increase in members in a secure fashion including our high capacity freezer instead of small supplies for each member.” There are about 125 active members in the Hawthorne club at present.

Nick Beaton, director of communications and resource development, explained the two other parts of the plan dealt with “additional technology for students who are doing online schooling for the hybrid learning model when they are not in school for part of the day, and for some additional staffing. So we are putting an additional emphasis for schooling in our club houses just to help them with their distance learning and packets and their virtual classes.”

Commissioners approved the grant application, which Beaton said is a two-step process. The board is allowing the Boys & Girls Club to be a sub grantee, because technically the county is applying for the funding. The application from the Board then needs to be submitted to the CDBG board to be approved at the state level.   

Crowder said there is a need for expanded hours of operation for the club.  “We don’t have staff on site all day, but not with hall of the school going to school in the morning and half in the afternoon, we know we need to stay open all day during the school year to properly serve our families. We plan to have the Hawthorne club open form 6 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, more than doubling the hours we have usually operated under.” 

He said the current staff will be needing to work their summer hours during the school year and a few new hires.