Renovated Boys & Girls Club teen center opens in Sherman Park

$250,000 project added new technology, more space

A Boys & Girls Club teen center in Sherman Park.

The Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood has opened a renovated teen center, complete with a computer lab, theater performance area and gaming hub.

The $250,000 renovation project was funded by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, along with donations from Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Lowe’s, HGA Architects and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Teens work on writing poetry in the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club’s recently renovated teen center.

HGA Architects designed the center in consultation with a group of Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club teens. The result was a half dozen new computers and work stations, a large screen, stage and projector, ping pong and pool tables, spaces to study, new carpeting and paint. The renovation project expanded the club’s previous teen center by 1,600 square feet.

It follows a renovation of the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club’s 57,000-square-foot facility, which reopened in May after being spruced up with fresh paint, new carpeting, new rubber flooring, a new HVAC system and 200 pieces of new furniture.

Vincent Lyles, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, said the teen center renovation shows that the community is invested in its youth.

“It means that they can count on the Boys & Girls Club,” Lyles said. “I think it creates a sense of ownership for them, this is their space … We’re a space for all kids, so your little brother can be upstairs and you can come down here and have your space.”

The teen center at Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club.

The center serves about 50 teens during the summer.

Carey Morris, a 16-year-old who has participated in the Boys & Girls Club for about nine years, said he was amazed when he saw the new space.

“From what the club used to look like to what it looks like now, it just blows my mind that we came this far,” he said. “It’s just amazing to be a part of something like this and have people who aren’t even your parents care for you and love for you like they’re your parents.”

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