GARDINER — Eight months after construction on the new home for Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley began, organizers and supporters are celebrating a milestone.

On Tuesday donors, staff, club kids, families and community members gathered at the construction site on Pray Street to add their signatures to the final beam that’s expected to be set in place Wednesday.

Plans to replace the aging home of the club with a $10 million facility were first announced two years ago. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed fundraising and the start of the project for more than a year.

The new building is going up next to the club’s existing home in the former Pray Street School. When the new building is complete next year, the existing building will be demolished and replaced with a soccer field.

Plans call for the building to be one-third larger than the existing building, so the organization will be able to expand its child care offerings for children 6 weeks old or older and expand its capacity to serve school-age children in after-school programs and the senior citizens who also use the facility.

At the project’s groundbreaking in May, the completion date was expected to be in October 2022, but that’s since been revised. Officials now expect the opening date will be in August, barring any construction delays.

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