“We're coming along,” said the project's benefactor Joe Aliberti, who, along with his wife Linda Aliberti, contributed approximately $1 million in 2012 to purchase the Scotts Valley Drive property. “It'll look brand-new.”
Aliberti, a retired building contractor, is overseeing the work on the project.
The interior of the building is nearly unrecognizable as the office, repair, and welding shop it once was as crews work to create the kitchen, computer learning center, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, offices, and common areas of the future youth facility.
“They had a nightmare of wires in there — there must have been 20 phone lines,” Aliberti said. “Now, it's a good, usable building.”
He said that, in its previous role, the building's owners had hastily modified it on numerous occasions to suit whatever need that the dealership had had at that particular moment — a convenient practice at the time, but a factor that's made the renovation more difficult.
“We made every ounce of what was there count,” Aliberti said. “We took a lot of it out, but you can't take it all out.”
The exterior of the building has seen many changes as well.
Perhaps the most noticeable change to the building, Aliberti said, is the addition of the new, red metal roof — which replaced the dilapidated shingle roofing that had been in place.
A wheelchair-accessible ramp was installed on the front of the building last week, Aliberti said, and a new front entrance was installed on Tuesday.
The next thing, he said, would be the installation of a curved awning that would go over the front entrance.
Along the side of the building, where two large metal roll-up doors once were, is now a pair of framed areas — which Aliberti said he hopes will be soon covered with murals.
He said that the board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Valleys plans to reach out to the students of the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley high schools to invite young artists to design and paint the murals.
“It's going to look pretty sharp,” he said.
Adjacent to the building, work is underway to break up a section of pavement in preparation for the installation of a Wiffle ball field and a garden.
Aliberti said that the community has been a tremendous help during the construction process, volunteering time, contributing money and needed appliances and supplies.
He said that he hopes to have work on the building finished sometime in July.
The building will serve as the fledgling organization's initial headquarters until funding is secured to create a larger, new building.
Once that happens, Aliberti said, the original building will be designated “The Club” — a facility designed exclusively for the use of teens.
He said that he looks forward to the facility's opening and he believes that it will provide the communities' youth with a safe and constructive place during the after-school hours.
“We've got to have something for them,” Aliberti said. “The most important thing is that great lives start here — I've seen it.”
For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of the Valleys, or to get involved, visit http://www.bgcvalleys.org/