November 1, 2013 [cleveland.com]
Proudly say “I built West Park!” with the power of this Crowdrise campaign and our fab rehab strategy. Bellaire-Puritas Development Corp. (BPDC) is creating a vibrant, intergenerational and tech-savvy community center located near several schools along a major bus line in the middle of its strongest residential neighborhood – in Cleveland’s West Park. Located at the intersection of West 140th Street and Lyric Avenue is a modest storefront made available to BPDC at a very low cost through the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. The building has a strong exterior but needs a lot of work inside. BPDC envisions this building as a single unit outfitted with a computer bank, small kitchen and a wide, airy multipurpose room that could support multiple temporary uses.
The building, located within walking distance of two public K-8 schools, a private K-8 school, Rockport Library, and virtually across the street from the site of the new John Marshall High School opening in the fall of 2015, is ideally situated to offer after-school programming for youth. As the West Park neighborhood lead agency for MyCom, a local youth development initiative funded in part by county and private youth development resources, BPDC provides quality after-school programs and engages quality youth-service providers to this community center.
An accessible after-school site would allow BPDC and the West Park MyCom consistent and usable space to expand its services from periodic offerings in multiple school locations to a more daily routine. We already enjoy the student enrollment of over 100 different children in after-school activities from as many as 18 area schools. Our programing, directed by neighborhood youth input, has provided art class and dance opportunities, employment readiness, poetry, music, reading and writing, outdoor youth recreation activities (camping, fishing and hiking) and soccer. With the development of the community center, many of these activities will have a permanent home.
We expect to attract daytime activities that will serve area adults and households seeking financial literacy, computer literacy and adult basic education. This neighborhood lacks enough convenient, modest community meeting space that recreation centers also offer. As a place for adults to learn during the day, and a place for youth enrichment programming in the evening, this storefront building provides great value with its modest space. It is a positive redevelopment of a vacant building in an otherwise strong neighborhood.
We also hope this multi-purpose room and kitchen will be versatile enough to attract people and groups to rent the center for area meetings of up to 40 people, kids’ birthday parties and small catered receptions.
If you want to be a part of this amazing project please consider giving a gift today. We are excited about every gift. As of Oct. 31, we were in 3rd place. If we raise the most out of all the groups involved we could win an extra grand prize donation of $10,000!
Donate today to join in the positive development of this West Park Cleveland neighborhood. You can make a donation online at crowdrise.com/BPDCLyric.