The Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County in Asbury Park, N.J.
Impacting the community one child at a time, the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County at Asbury Park, N.J., is getting a much needed makeover. Among the team leading the effort, American Pool is on site lending a helping hand. Members of the club will be treated to a much improved aquatic facility.
Every day kids come to the Boys & Girls Club in Asbury Park after school. For many young people, the club is a home away from home. It offers a place for children to feel safe and a respite from the crime they may encounter on the streets.
Young members, ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old, not only stay at the club for a couple of hours after school, but often well into the evening. They get the chance to enjoy a host of activities, including sports, lessons on healthy habits and even tutoring. These activities are all designed to build friendships and lasting relationships within the community.
Over the years, one of the club's most popular amenities has been the indoor swimming pool. Access to aquatic programming is critical for a community located on the Jersey Shore waterfront. The club states on its website that 60 percent to 70 percent of African-American and Hispanic children cannot swim, and that beginner, intermediate and advanced swim lessons are offered to 100 percent of members.
"As Asbury Park is a shore town, it's really important for kids that are growing up with the ocean right at their doorstep to be able to swim, and I think even more so in under-resourced communities like Asbury," explained Doug Eagles, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County. "You have kids that are oftentimes just not exposed to swimming exposed to the water lifestyle, and so having a pool available to provide them with those skill sets ultimately saves lives."
Located on the west side of town less than two miles from the beach, the Asbury Park club resides in a historic 70-year-old building that was once home to the then-named Kiwanis Boys Club established in 1938. While the club has been fortunate to have the support of dedicated volunteers to keep the facility functioning, the building and facilities were in need of additional support.
Mitch Friedlander, CEO of American Leisure, assessed the issue, "The Boys and Girls Club has been doing a great job keeping the place together and is a vital part of the community while operating on a shoestring budget. The pool area has been band-aided for years."
That's where the American Pool team jumped in. In one short week, American Pool of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania completed the renovation, and the facility is now back up and running.
After the company donated more than 500 hours of skilled manpower and $65,000 in material and supplies, the girls and boys of Asbury Park can now enjoy a newly equipped and refurbished aquatic facility. The renovation included a full facility cleaning, tile repair, expansion joint replacement, resolution of structural leaks, a painted interior, the installation of an automated chemical controller, and replacement of the facility's antiquated 1970s filters with a brand new commercial filtration system.
The renovations won't stop there. With the help of leading developer, iStar, Asbury Park not only gets to experience a new pool, but a soon-to-be-redesigned club featuring a new three-story building adjacent to the existing structure. In addition to American Pool, at least 10 other companies have donated their services to make this new center a reality for the Asbury community.
Donors for the project include: American Pool; American Leisure; Baystate; Bel Aqua; Cat Controller; Hayward; Holt Machinery; I-Star; Mid State Electric; Pentair; and SCP.