Boys & Girls Clubs pursues permits for Eatonville expansion

Partial rendering of the Boys & Girls Club in Eatonville after the building is expanded later this year, more than doubling in size.
Partial rendering of the Boys & Girls Club in Eatonville after the building is expanded later this year, more than doubling in size. (SCHENKELSHULTZ)

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is trying to line up permit approvals for a groundbreaking by this fall on a nearly $3 million expansion to is Eatonville club, with a major local employer donating a majority of the funds.

Located at 400-B Ruffel St. in Eatonville, next to the Hungerford Elementary School, the 3-acre property features the 9,500-square-foot Joe R. Lee Branch Boys & Girls Club. Opened in 2011, it was built for $1.75 million with a majority of the funding donated by Darden Restaurants and later named after retired Darden chairman Joe R. Lee Cain.


Your update on the latest permitting steps taken for this Maitland expansion project that has languished since 2015.

The non-profit organization announced last year it would be expanding the Eatonville club by approximately 12,665 square feet (22,310 SF total). Those plans are now on the cusp of local approval.

The owner filed construction plans last week with the St. Johns River Water Management District, and its Development Plan for the project could go before Eatonville's Town Council on Tuesda or July 17.

"We've had some review with city staff, resubmitted and now hope to get on the agenda this month so we can move forward and begin work on the project," President Gary Cain told GrowthSpotter. "This expansion will include a dedicated teen center, new technology labs, a digital arts lab and dance aerobics studio. It will be a great addition."

Total project cost for the expansion is estimated near $2.9 million with FF&E, Cain said. The Boys & Girls Club has been raising money from a variety of local donors, with Tupperware Brands leading the way with a $1 million contribution.

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If construction permits are issued by the end of July as Cain anticipates, he said an 11-month timeline has been advised by his contractors, putting the expansion on pace for completion in July 2019.

Civil engineer on the expansion is Klima Weeks. The project architect is SchenkelShultz, which has contributed all its design work at no cost, and general contractor is Aagaard-Juergensen, both of which worked on the building's first phase.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has 35 clubs in the region, 14 of which are located on Orange County school sites. The organization serves about 14,000 children annually, with a focus in underprivileged neighborhoods and on providing academic support, healthy lifestyles and building good character in children and teens, Cain said.

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