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Boys & Girls Club to Add to Mecca Community Services

A news conference Wednesday in Indian Wells told the story of the latest addition to improvements either completed, proposed or envisioned for the community of Mecca and the surrounding area: a brand new, multi-million dollar Boys & Girls Club.

“This facility will be a great compliment to the other amenities either already in place or on the way,” said Fourth District Supervisor Roy Wilson. “We need to concentrate on the kids, at this point, and the Boys & Girls Club-a highly-respected organization-is a giant step in recognizing their importance.”

The new 30,000 square foot Boys & Girls Club will compliment the Mecca Family Service Center & Community Health Clinic, already constructed, and an 11,000 square foot sheriff’s substation and library, which should be ready for a ribbon cutting in early February. Total cost for the Boys & Girls Club is an estimated $9.8 million, while the tab on the sheriff/library facility is $3.0 million.

Construction drawings are already under way for the Boys & Girls Club, with ground breaking set for the end of this year. Wednesday afternoon’s news conference will yield additional information on the Boys & Girls Club itself, as well as a vision for an adjoining sports park-although funding for the operation of such a park has not yet been identified and so there is no timeline on the proposal. Estimated capital cost for such a park project is $5.5 million.

The costliest component of downtown renovation is the $18 million street improvement plan. That project, which has not yet garnered Board of Supervisors authorization, would feature total street renovation in the downtown area, including pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks; improvements to the “Triangle Park”; an entryway “roundabout” with monument signage; underground utilities and street lighting, plus “enhanced”-meaning stamped, decorative concrete-intersections. The County’s Economic Development Agency, which administers the Redevelopment revenues which are funding the lion’s share of these projects, expects to be ready for construction bids by this summer.

The Boys & Girls Club timeline is difficult to estimate at this point, but EDA officials say Spring of 2010 is a reasonable guesstimate.

A bit further in the future: a new fire station. Further yet: a senior center and a “flyover” of the railroad tracks, making entry into the community a much easier and safer task.

“What we are attempting to do is renovate Mecca without destroying its unique culture and heritage,” said Supervisor Wilson. “The community has been engaged process, so we really feel we are doing this together.

“In the long run, we believe private enterprise will be sparked by our public infrastructure efforts, and the result will be a heightened quality of life for everyone. Mecca is just now taking off.”

Supervisor Wilson was among the dignitaries present at Wednesday’s historic news conference at the Hyatt Grand Champions.