Today was cause for celebration as Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver took the next step to make the vision of the Nancy P. Anschutz Center, home of the Jack A. Vickers Boys & Girls Club, a reality.

Thanks to a $5 million grant from The Anschutz Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club broke ground on the new center located in Holly Square in Denver’s northeast Park Hill.  When the former Holly Shopping Center was destroyed by arsonists in 2008, ULC, with the support of the City of Denver, purchased the 2.6 acre site in order to redevelop the heart of northeast Park Hill.  The redevelopment process then began in partnership with The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods (SN) program with the creation of the Holly Area Redevelopment Project  (HARP).  In a 2 1/2 year visioning process, ULC, SN, community stakeholders and concerned residents developed Good Neighbor Principles and the HARP Vision Plan.  The search for development partners was initiated, and in summer 2012, Boys & Girls Club signed a long term land lease with ULC for construction of the new community center, expected to be complete in less than a year.

Councilman Albus Brooks explained, “This is a great day for northeast Denver.  We cannot underestimate the power of mentorship and that is what this center will do.”

Boys & Girls Club will be welcomed into the community because of the extensive resident engagement process that took place with HARP.  The collaborative efforts that have taken place to date were recognized today as a way to improve opportunities for the community from the inside out.  ULC is dedicated to continued work with HARP in planning the next phase of development, current considerations for permanent development include a school or facility focused on education to complement existing (and future) assets:  Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center, Pauline Robinson Library, Prodigal Son Initiative, Skyland Park and of course the new Nancy P. Anschutz Community Center.

Congratulations to the newest Holly Square Partner, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, on building another resource to help children change their lives for the better.