Janesville Salvation Army community center reopens
For more information
Call Cliford Murry, community center director, at (608) 757-8300, or stop in at 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville.
If you go
What: Grand re-opening of the Janesville Salvation Army Community Center
When: 3:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Where: 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville.
JANESVILLE After being closed to the public for the past four years, the community center at the Janesville Salvation Army will officially reopen later this month.
As a kick-off event, an open gym for adults will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Youth will be welcomed back Tuesday, Jan. 24, when the center begins offering its after-school programs. The programs will feature healthy snacks, a homework club that offers a computer lab, a mentoring program, arts and crafts, plus recreation and day trips, said Cliford Murry, community center director.
Rounding out programming is adult and youth bingo, an all-city middle school rec night, upcoming Zumba classes, guest speakers, dance groups, talent shows, plus movie and family nights.
Murry said programming additions and changes will occur while he tweaks offerings based on suggestions from users.
As patrons enter the center, they will notice improvements to restrooms, the gymnasium, ceiling tiles, lighting and flooring. Changes came with no recent costs because they were made before the arrival of new Majors Robert and Ruth Fay last February, Ruth Fay said.
The majors hired Murry to bring life back to the community center. They are confident he can fulfill that mission based on a background of 10 years in social work and 15 years in volunteer coaching.
“He has a vision, knows how valuable that community center is and to have a neighborhood community center,’’ Ruth Fay said, noting Murry both coached and played in the community center gym.
To leave the community center empty wasn’t good stewardship, she said.
“In addition to providing food, clothing and shelter there also needs to be a safe place for kids and people to come,” she said. “We want this to be a destination neighborhood center.”
Murry said programming will be affordable for families. Scholarships and financial aid are available to help defray costs, and parents can volunteer to help reduce costs even more.
Murry used billboards and 4,000 fliers sent out through the Janesville School District to promote the center reopening. His plan was to target families, youth and other adults.
“A lot of families here (that the Salvation Army serves) are low-income and not aware of what resources Janesville can offer,’’ he said. “I want people to come to this gym, feel safe and that they belong.”
Murry also wants people to know the Salvation Army is more than a church and social services program for those in need.
“This place is diverse and is for everyone to participate regardless of their age or income,” he said. “It’s a community center. It’s your community center.’’
Events scheduled to date
-- Saturday, Jan. 7: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., open gym. Cost: $3
-- Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Jan. 10: 9 to 11 a.m., adult bingo. Cost: $2, with door prizes.
-- Tuesday, Jan. 24: 3:30 to 6 p.m., after-school programs for elementary and middle school students. Cost: family of one, $20 a week; family of two, $25 a week; family of three or more, $30 a week.
-- Friday, Feb. 10: 7 to 9 p.m., all-city middle school rec night including food, music, games and more. Cost: $3.
-- Saturday, Feb. 11: Tentatively starting at 9 a.m., first youth basketball and volleyball game. Cost: $15 including a T-shirt (depending on demand).