Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee shutters branch

Students playing in the game room of the Pieper-Hillside branch. (Photo: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee)

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee has closed its branch in the city’s Hillside neighborhood, Ald. Milele Coggs announced late Friday. 

Coggs said the COVID-19 health crisis played “a major role” in the decision to close the Pieper-Hillside Boys & Girls Club, located at 611 W. Cherry St. just north of downtown, on Friday. 

“Families have been severely impacted and are rightly putting the health and safety of children and family members first, and unemployment has also been a contributing factor,” Coggs said. 

BGC representatives weren’t immediately available for comment.

Since schools closed in March due to the pandemic, the organization has altered its services, including providing more than 220,000 meals to children across the city through its meal distribution program. It has also offered in-club summer programming with reduced capacity at several of its sites. 

Coggs noted that the decision to close the club is a particular loss for children and families of the Hillside Terrace family housing development and students of nearby Golda Meir School, who walk to the club after school. In 2018, the branch’s game room underwent a $75,000 makeover thanks to a grant from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Major League Baseball. 

Coggs said the organization is making accommodations for children impacted by the closure and will be placed at one of five other legacy sites – Davis, Mary Ryan, Fitzsimonds, Daniels-Mardak, LaVarnway and at the Siefert CLC. BGC leadership have also said Pieper-Hillside staff will be offered positions at other sites, Coggs said. The organization has 44 locations across the city.

“The great Pieper-Hillside BGC staff has always provided high quality care, mentorship, and service to our young people, and they will be missed,” Coggs said.

 

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