Boys and Girls Club presents plan to Supes

Boys and Girls Club of the Golden Triangle CEO Nadia Colom presents to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Monday. The board unanimously voted to begin the process of working toward a block grant for a new facility for the club. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Staff Writer

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle moved a step closer to a new facility Monday morning, with a unanimous vote from the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors.

The board voted to begin working toward a block grant for a new facility for the club at Westside Park in Starkville.

In a presentation to the board, CEO Nadia Colom said the club served approximately 700 youth in Oktibbeha County and was outgrowing the capabilities of its current facility on Lynn Lane. She said the club had to turn some children away last summer due to a lack of space.

Colom also said the kitchen facilities in the current building are too small, making it difficult to feed children from the facilities.

“There’s so many things we could do beyond this with the right support,” Colom said.

Colom said the design process began in fall 2018 with a design charette with Mississippi State University architecture students and the Major Design Studio in Columbus. She emphasized that the project was still just a concept, but said she had discussed the long-term plan with several local leaders who were supportive of the idea.

“They have been supportive,” Colom said. “I have talked to the (Starkville) parks and rec director, and he was excited.”

She said the plan was to build the facility in two phases, with a gym and administrative facilities going in first and as swimming pool being built at a later date. She said the club was in the process of working on the liability issues the pool could potentially bring.

District 5 Supervisor Bricklee Miller suggested the use of lobbying to help work toward the block grant. She also called the plan a “great idea.”

“Sometimes that has more effect than at just the local level,” Miller said.

The board also began the process of searching for new office space for the roads department by a 4-1 vote. Miller was the sole nay vote. The vote approves a request for proposals for mobile office for the department costing between $42,000 and $55,000.

Road Manager Hal Baggett said the department’s current office space was too small for its current needs and complement of three or four employees.

“Our office becomes very crowded, very noisy at times, and there are three or four people there all the time,” Baggett said.

He said many other counties in Mississippi had better offices than the one he was requesting for the department. He also said a new office would free up more space for other uses by the department.

“An office for the road department is not overkill,” Baggett said. “Most road departments have offices beyond mobile units.”