Local officials, stakeholders, residents, staff and representatives of General Contractor KAI celebrated a topping out ceremony on March 27 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Teen Center of Excellence currently under construction in Ferguson, MO. During the construction milestone, the final beam signed by donors, community partners, staff and others was hoisted high into its final position. The City of Ferguson and its Fire Department showed their support for the project by flying a large American flag from their ladder truck during the event.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is excited to reach this milestone regarding the construction of our Teen Center of Excellence. The topping out ceremony gives us a chance to include our club members and supporters in this important community resource. It symbolizes the role and responsibility we all have to foster hope and opportunity for all children,” said Dr. Flint Fowler, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.
According to KAI Senior Project Manager Jeremy Lammers, construction of the $12.4 million facility is on track to open in the Fall of 2019.
“Predominantly, topping out ceremonies are reserved for projects that hold significant meaning to the organization and, most importantly, to the community,” said Lammers. “Completing the steel for this building gets us one step closer to opening the new Teen Center of Excellence that will be serving the youth of Ferguson and its surrounding communities. KAI is excited to be a part of this project and helping transform this community.”
The Teen Center of Excellence, located at 9200 West Florissant, will offer afterschool and summer programs to youth ages 12-18 in the North St. Louis County area. One of the first of its kind in the country, the 26,856-square-foot, 3-level center will provide a safe place for area youth to gather and participate in a variety of activities. Designs for the facility include a nutrition education center, gym, teen lounge, outdoor garden, auditorium, music and art studio, office space, intellectual commons, innovation center, and outdoor basketball and activity court.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has a 50-plus-year track record of success in the St. Louis region as a youth services provider and will implement nationally acclaimed programs at the new Teen Center similar to those offered in the 10 locations it presently operates (seven of which are located in North St. Louis County). Programming will include an emphasis on health and wellness (such as yoga, healthy habits, open gym), education and workforce development (such as college tours, ACT/SAT prep, tutoring), STEAM (such as coding, app creation, robotics) and leadership and civic engagement (such as fine and performing arts, community service, applied arts).
KAI is serving as the General Contractor on the project, and the architect is Arcturis of St. Louis, MO.