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The City Journals

Tariffs, labor costs cause Boys & Girls Club hardship

Jan 29, 2019 10:33AM ● By Shaun Delliskave

The Boys & Girls Clubs must raise more funds to complete expansion. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

By Shaun Delliskave|[email protected]

The Boys & Girls Club of Murray is being slammed by construction costs that exceeded estimates due to tariffs and labor woes, causing issues with its planned expansion. When originally planned, the expansion was to help the 50-year-old center meet growing demands, but now the center must raise more funds to meet construction costs. 

“Construction costs, in general, have been rising dramatically over the past 18 months or so due to high demand and increased cost of materials. Our original estimates were that the expansion would cost $1,500,000. That has jumped to approximately $1,750,000,” stated LeAnn Saldivar, president/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake (BGCGSL).

The current space available for its elementary-aged program is too small to accommodate demand. The club has up to 100 kids on its waiting list, particularly during summer months. The proposed expansion would allow it to immediately serve an additional 100 kids each day.

The Murray Club serves about 900 members annually, with between 225 and 300 attending daily. These figures include its childcare program (ages 3-7), before- and after-school programs for elementary-aged youth and its teen center. The club, located next to Murray Park, has been a fixture in the community since its founding in 1967.

A non-profit group like the Boys & Girls Club already engages in extensive fundraising to support programs and staff. Adding additional pressure to raise funds to cover the extended cost of the project has led the club to reconsider all their options.

“The Murray expansion is part of a larger campaign to also build a new club in the Fairpark/Rose Park neighborhood. Partial proceeds from the sale of our old building in that area may be tapped, if necessary, to fill any gap in funding,” said Saldivar.

In November 2017, BGCGSLs announced its fundraising effort called the “Great Futures Capital Campaign,” aimed at raising $7 million for both the Murray expansion and the new facility (replacing the old Capitol West Club) in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake. 

BGCGSL had raised $5.9 million from foundations and individual donors, board members and staff. Two special “naming” gifts have been pledged: $1.5 million from the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation to name the new Capitol West Club and $1 million from the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation to name the Murray Club.

The Murray Boys & Girls Club project is a 10,000-square-foot expansion as well as a small remodel of existing interior spaces. Construction is scheduled to be complete in June of 2019. The expansion foundation is already complete and masonry work is in progress. The interior remodel was scheduled to start in mid-January.

“We don’t expect cost increases to have any impact on the timeline for completion,” stated Saldivar.

To reach its summer goal of completion, the Boys & Girls Club will need to find the funds to cover its current shortfall. Club management will again turn to the public to support its project. “We will continue to raise funds from private donors through 2019 to cover all the costs,” noted Saldivar.

Sharp price increases in construction goods and services have impacted a number of noteworthy projects around Murray. Most recently, Murray City had to reopen its budget to allocate more funds toward the construction of the new fire station located in the Murray City Center District. Between the original estimate of the project and when final bids were received after tariffs were put in place, the cost of the station jumped $1.25 million.

More information on donating to the BGCGSL fundraiser can be found online at www.gslclubs.org/GreatFutures.