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Welcome to On Common Ground News covering DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale

Conyers Boys and Girls Club’s makeover wows kids

The Boys and Girls Club sent CSX a huge Thank You, here.

CONYERS—Eight-year-old Jada Cheiry says her new after-school digs is cool—really cool—since a crew of volunteers renovated the facility inside and out. The A.R. “Gus” Boys and Girls Club now has colorful murals in the gym, a new outdoor classroom, a new dance room, and a refurbished playground and ball field, courtesy of the CSX Railroad Corporation and City Year, a national service organization. Working together, the volunteers donated nearly $100,000 in materials and peoplepower to renovate the 18,600-square-foot facility, which opened its doors in 1977 at 1015 O’Kelly Street, S.E.

“The gym is really cool and I like all the new paintings on the wall. We needed the new stuff. I’m happy we got it,” said Cheiry, a third-grader at C.J. Hicks Elementary School in Conyers.

Kudos also came from several other kids as their eyes lit up with excitement when they arrived at the club on Feb. 6, the day after all the work was completed.

 

“You should see the gym!” “Whoa!” several exclaimed.

 

Terrence Artis, the club’s executive director, said the renovations were greatly needed and appreciated; a big plus for the 250 children in grades K-12 who are served daily throughout the week.

“In this type of economy, with the budget cuts we have received, we are just not able to do a lot of projects we would like to do. Words can’t describe my appreciation. This is truly a blessing,” Artis said.

 

About 160 volunteers worked on the Feb. 5 project, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. The service day was part of CSX’s four-day Public Safety and Environment conference, which was held in Atlanta.

 

“For CSX, this project is all about team building and leaving the community a little better than we found it,” said CSX’s Tori Kaplan. “We’re excited about this project because it’s the first one of 2013. We plan to do 13 more projects like this one, across the country before the year ends.”

Last year, CSX helped beautify the Warren/Holyfield Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, as a part of its 2012 conference and service day. There are 24 clubs operated in 10 metro counties in Metro Atlanta.

 

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