“What we’re trying to do is get the whole valley wound up as far as fundraising,” said Joe Aliberti who, along with his wife Linda Aliberti, contributed approximately $1 million in 2012 to purchase the Scotts Valley Drive property that will be the site of a newly-created Boys and Girls Club of the Valleys.
Recently, a 20-member board of directors was drawn from the communities of Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley to ensure that the project evolves in a way that maximizes the future facility’s appeal to the region’s youth.
“We’ve got a lot of energetic people,” said Joe Aliberti, a retired construction contractor. “Right now, it’s at the stage where we need to get the word out to the community.”
A community meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Scopazzi’s in Boulder Creek, where Boys and Girls Club organizers will meet with the public to maximize the future facility’s services to the youth of the San Lorenzo Valley.
The plans, which were drawn up by architect Jon Ifland, call for an extensive renovation of the existing two-story building. The renovation will be led by Joe Aliberti, who is coming out of retirement for the project, and will include the addition of a basketball court, baseball and softball diamond, and finally, a second building located close to Scotts Valley Drive.
Initially, Joe Aliberti said, the existing building — which, when finished, will feature a large game room, computer lab, and a community kitchen — would host all of the fledgling group’s activities and events.
Once the second building is completed, he said, the new building would host activities for the younger children, while the original building would be entirely dedicated to the organization’s teen activities.
“It’s a two-phase thing,” Joe Aliberti said. “We have the property, it has a building on it, and we’re going to renovate that — that’s going to be the start.”
He said that currently, the organization was seeking the community’s input as to what sort of things the community would like to see, as well as drum up financial support.
“We’re doing a feasibility study,” Joe Aliberti said. “We need to get the community, businesses and everyone behind (the project).
New board member Janie Hanson said that she has been coordinating meetings between community representatives of both valleys with Robert Ross, a consultant brought in to conduct the study.
“The support the community has given has been incredible to me,” she said. “We’ve gotten pianos donated, we’ve gotten books donated — everybody’s been like ‘what can we do?’”
According to Linda Aliberti, the Boys and Girls Club of the Valleys could open its doors within the next 6 to 9 months, depending on how long the renovation takes, coupled with how much funds can be raised.
She estimated that it would cost between $400,000 and $450,000 to cover the renovation costs and the operating costs for the facility’s inaugural year.
“Our goal to get the building renovated and the first year overhead,” Linda Aliberti said.
To help raise the funds needed, the Alibertis donated a 2001 BMW X5 sport-utility vehicle for a raffle. Linda Aliberti described the vehicle as a fully loaded luxury vehicle with particularly low mileage.
She said that the goal of the organization was to reach out to as many youth as possible and said that the board members selected were well-represented by the communities of the San Lorenzo Valley as well as Scotts Valley.
“It’s very, very well-distributed,” Linda Aliberti said. “Our goal is very much to involve the SLV kids.”
Scotts Valley Deputy City Manager Corrie Kates said that the organization’s plans had already been submitted to the city, and approval would likely occur by mid-November. After that, he said, the construction only needed permits to begin.
To contact the Boys and Girls Club of the Valleys, call 426-3081, or mail to 5610 Scotts Valley Drive, Suite B, PMB 381, Scotts Valley, Calif. 95066. For more information about the community meeting, call Janie Hanson at 345-7921.
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