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The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County paid $1.7 million for a south Fort Myers property that had been known as the Fort Myers Event Center.

The nonprofit organization plans to transform the 14,500-square-foot building, which had been home to the Fort Myers Elks Lodge, into a new youth center. “I would consider it a transformational change for our organization,” said Denise Gergley, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County. “This will allow us to centralize some activities and expand what we’re able to offer.

“We’re really going to make this a state-of-the-art club. It will be a place where the kids want to come. They’ll be exposed to new and different things that will help them on their journey, especially as they get older and explore their college destinations and career options. We want to bring in guest speakers. We’re really excited about the opportunity to really serve.”

Located on 2.2 acres at 1900 Park Meadows Drive, the building currently has ballroom spaces, a reception area, offices, a conference room, kitchen and pantry. The areas will be transformed and renovated into activity centers, a tech center, gaming room and central member hub and seating pods. An outdoor patio will be used as a teen center, and site plans show a covered sports pavilion and a multi-purpose sports field will be installed on the site.

Once completed, the Park Meadows Club will accommodate up to 600 members each year.

Trinity Commercial Group of Fort Myers brokered the transaction.

The Boys & Girls Clubs, which has other facilities across Lee County, launched a $2.5 million fundraising campaign to pay for the purchase and renovations.

Fort Myers Event Center is about three times the size of the other Boys & Girls Club facilities, Gergley said, allowing it to better serve the surrounding communities of Pine Manor, the Villas, Page Park and other areas.

“Underserved communities often lack quality after-school and summer programs, so we’re excited about the opportunities this new facility will create,” she said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, followed by an open house and facility tour for parents and future club members. A summer camp there begins June 6 for ages 6 through 18.

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