Each year, our school and residential campus serves as full-time, year-round home base to more than 550 disadvantaged students. Many of them have never had a clean and secure home in which to live before coming to Boys Republic. Our complex of more than 30 buildings houses the programs in guidance and education for their care. Ranging in age from 20-90 years, these buildings have seen quite a bit of history — and the normal wear and tear that comes from plenty of teenage testosterone. More than 30,000 energetic teenagers have lived, worked and learned in them, since our founding in 1907.
Boys Republic’s Board of Directors has been keenly aware that rehabilitation and learning, like every other human activity, occur best in a clean, structurally sound environment. With this in mind, they authorized a three-year campaign to fund the renovation of six dormitories, a gymnasium and a teaching bakery.
Interior and exterior painting, new windows and doors, plumbing upgrades, new roof and floor coverings, and remodeled bathrooms. These are just some of the activities that comprise the Building Renovation Project. While this list of down-to-earth projects may not sound particularly inspirational, it hasn’t softened our donors’ resolve to see the project through.
“We’re now two years into the three-year, $2.2 million Building Renovation campaign,” notes Boys Republic executive director Chris Burns, “and already the project has generated nearly $1.9 million.”
“Our supporters really are in tune with us that this type of proactive maintenance is a priority. We’re fortunate to have a group of donors who take the time to learn about who we are and what the teenagers in our care need.”
Renovation activities are well underway. Dormitory bathrooms, one of the biggest projects on the list, are nearly complete. Floor and roof coverings are both done, and much of the interior painting is finished.
“We’ve got the permits now for the new Teaching Bakery and construction has begun, said Burns. “Everyone’s excited because the Bakery will add a new dimension to our vocational training.”