Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand requesting permission for new facility

Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand requesting permission for new facility

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The city of Myrtle Beach could soon be welcoming a brand new facility for the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand.

The Community Appearance Board held a meeting Tuesday, where one proposed request was for a new Boys and Girls Club in the city.

Right now, the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand has two locations. One is on Carver Street, referred to as the blue house by the kids, according to CEO Dione Buonto. The other location is at Mt. Olive AME Church.

The plans on Tuesday's agenda was just a conceptual review, meaning no specific construction plans have been designed yet. However, Buonto said the Boys and Girls club is hoping for a nearly 20,000-square-foot, two-story building they can finally call their own.

Burroughs and Chapin donated two acres of land located between Carver Street and Dunbar Street off of Mr. Joe White Ave, where the new proposed club would go.

Buonto said there are plans for a new gymnasium and hopes for other things, such as an art room, recording studio and a demo kitchen for the kids to learn how to cook in.

Enhancing the neighborhood and having something that the kids will be proud of is something Buonto said the organization is striving for.

"The Boys and Girls Club has been in the Grand Strand for close to 20 years, and so we want to leave them something that their kids can go to, but again improve the neighborhood," Buonto said. "And when they go in there, it's not like school; it's just like fun, yet they're still learning and growing and becoming leaders in their community."

Buonto said it will be nice if the Boys and Girls Club is able to have their own building because they lease the one on Carver Street and are sharing space with the church.

"It's nice for you just to be able to store your stuff and kind of do what you need to do," she said.

While Buonto noted the kids love the blue house and it is special to them, it is a small space that needs a little bit of healing.

"It's just nice to get into something a little bit more modern and a little more reliable for what we need to do," she said.

Buonto said the Boys and Girls Club hopes to raise $2 million to fund the new building. They plan on doing that through private donations, with the funding halfway there.

"We've had quite a bit of support from the community," Buonto said. "We're fairly lucky that Myrtle Beach has been incredible and Horry County has been incredible."

Between the two sites, the Boys and Girls Club has about 260 active members. With the new facility, they are hoping to increase that to 450 members each year.

The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission also held a meeting Tuesday and some old business had new updates.

Planning commission staffers made adjustments to the Seahawk Overlay District plan they proposed last month.

At the July 18 meeting, the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission expressed concerns about CEVM signs – or digital, lighted signs – that were in the plans for the proposed district on some parts of Oak Street and near residential neighborhoods.

The city's planning director, Carol Coleman, said she didn't initially include any information that controlled the location of the CEVM signs. The staff went back and removed CEVM signs along Oak Street itself and planned to present the ordinance to the planning commission on Tuesday.

The Seahawk Overlay District proposal looks to create a campus feel to the area, home to Myrtle Beach's primary, elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools.

The geographic area includes 29th Avenue North to 38th Avenue North in between Robert Grissom Parkway and North Oak Street.

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