Fort Bend County will develop a new community center to be operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston in Rosenberg.

The roughly 20,000-square-foot facility is expected to break ground in late June or early July and be complete in May 2023, James Knight, director of Fort Bend County Facilities Management and Planning Department, told the Houston Business Journal.

It will be located on Avenue E, next to Christian nonprofit Attack Poverty, and include a multipurpose gym, classrooms, administrative offices and community space.

The two-story building, which was designed by the Houston office of Harrisonburg, Virginia-based Blueline Architects, will also serve as an emergency shelter, Knight said.

“We’re going to set up the generator and design it the way where if we have a major hurricane or flood or something and people in the neighborhood need a place to go, they (can) stay for a couple of days while things calm down,” he said.

The county plans to put out bids to select a general contractor for the $4.7 million construction project next month.

Fort Bend County has agreed to a 30-year, $250,000 lease with Attack Poverty, which owns the property, and there will be opportunities for collaboration between the two nonprofits and the county.

“If somebody needs more space for some event, it’s right across the parking lot, (so) we can have a very open arrangement as far as kind of helping each other out when needed,” Knight said.

The new center will serve an estimated 1,000 kids between 6 and 17 years old per year and offer services that promote youth development, academics, healthy lifestyle, character development and workforce readiness, said Mari Bosker, director of communications at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston.

Attack Poverty, which is headquartered in Stafford, works with local organizations, churches and others to “build on the strengths and capacities of the community,” according to its website. It offers after-school programs, job-readiness and financial-literacy training as well as food distribution and other services.

The organization has owned the property for some years and had been trying to find good use for the additional land, Attack Poverty CEO Brandon Baca said.

Attack Poverty had already partnered with the Boys & Girls Club in other places, including in Richmond, and after meeting with local leaders and stakeholders, they decided there was need for a gym and space for youth in Rosenberg, he said.

“We were familiar with one another, and so we thought, ‘Man, this is great. We can continue the process here in Rosenberg as well,’” Baca said.

They sat down with Fort Bend County commissioners Vincent Morales and Grady Prestage and came up with the idea for the project, which will serve as a “one-stop hub” for community services, Bosker said.

The Boys and Girls Club has its Richmond-Rosenberg branch at 1800 James L. Pink Blvd. in Richmond, and Fort Bend County partners with other clubs in Mission Bend and off South Post Oak Boulevard near Beltway 8.

“We’re so grateful for the support of the county and so excited for families in the north Rosenberg community,” Bosker said. “We know there’s a need for those services, and we are proud and pleased to be able to provide them.”

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