Greg Glynn of Marshall Communications, right, takes a group photograph Oct. 14, 2020, during a presentation in Gardiner to announce Central Maine Power Co.’s $75,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley in Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file Buy this Photo

GARDINER — With construction of a new building slated to start later this year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley is scheduled to make a presentation on the project to the Gardiner City Council Wednesday.

They also expect to ask for the city’s support in the form of a $500,000 contribution.

The club first announced its plans to replace its current aging building at 14 Pray St. about 16 months ago and kicked off the public phase of its $10 million fundraising campaign not long after that. But when the global coronavirus pandemic was declared in March 2020, all fundraising activities were paused, even as the club continued to offer daycare for children of essential employees.

Ingrid Stanchfield, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs said this request would be for a one-time commitment of funding to support the capital campaign.

The City Council is expected to conduct a public hearing and debate the request when it meets on Feb. 17.

Mayor Patricia Hart said city officials expected a request from the Boys & Girls Clubs, which started in Gardiner more than two decades ago as an outgrowth of the city’s recreation program.

Every year, the Boys & Girls Clubs requests operating fund support from the communities it serves — Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston and Randolph — which is separate from the capital request.

“The city does have a history of investing in the nonprofits that are key to quality of life here,” Hart said. “And if we’ve learned anything in this pandemic, it’s that quality child care and out of school care are key to healthy, happy families and a vibrant economy. We need to make sure we’re investing in them as individuals and as a community.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs successfully met an anonymous $1 million matching challenge by Dec. 31 and continues to fundraise on its way to meet its goal of $10 million.

Club officials expect to start construction on the new building this spring. Plans call for a new structure that’s about 30% larger than the existing building. At 32,000-square-feet, the new building would  accommodate expanded childcare offerings for children 6 weeks old or older, and for programs for school-age children and seniors who use the facility.

In June, Gardiner elected officials approved an annual budget in the amount of $6.12 million.

When they meet Wednesday, Gardiner elected officials are also expected to consider extending the moratorium on allowing new adult-use and medical marijuana retail shops in Gardiner, hear a presentation on the 2020 audit report and consider endorsing a letter of support for fish passage on Cobbosseecontee Stream, among other things.

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Because of public health restrictions, the meeting will be held virtually and can be viewed on Facebook Live.

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