The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County has purchased the former Fort Myers Event Center and plans to transform the space into a flagship club for children and teens in Fort Myers.

Located on 2.2 acres at 1900 Park Meadows Drive in Fort Myers, the interior of the 14,500-square-foot building, which also has been home to the Fort Myers Elks Lodge, was recently updated and includes open ballroom spaces, a reception area, offices, a conference room, kitchen and pantry. The Boys & Girls Clubs will renovate the interior to include enclosed activity centers, a tech center, gaming room, central member hub and seating pods. An outdoor patio will be enclosed to create a teen center that provides a separate space for older members. Site plans also include construction of a covered sports pavilion and installation of a multipurpose sports field to expand athletic opportunities for members. Once completed, the Park Meadows Club will accommodate up to 600 members annually.

The Boys & Girls Clubs has launched a $2.5 million fundraising campaign to pay for the purchase and renovations of the Park Meadows Club.

Currently, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County operates four school-based clubs in North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers and Cape Coral; two neighborhood clubs for residents of Pueblo Bonita in Bonita Springs and Renaissance Preserve in Fort Myers; and one community club in Lehigh Acres that serves members across the region.

“Park Meadows will be our second community club and will bring additional after-school and summer programs to families in central and south Fort Myers, including Pine Manor, Villas, Page Park and other areas,” said Denise Gergley, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County. “Underserved communities often lack quality after-school and summer programs, so we’re excited about the opportunities this new facility will create.”

“Research continues to show that strong after-school and summer programs are contributing to student success at school with higher attendance rates, better grades and improved behavior,” said Board President Maylene Kiang Wu. “As a community, we must provide our youth with opportunities to reach their full potential, and this investment has the potential to be a difference-maker for so many families in Southwest Florida.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs will host a ribbon-cutting event at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, followed by an open house and facility tour for parents and future club members. Park Meadows will host a summer camp program starting June 6 that focuses on five core areas: education and career, service and leadership, health and wellness, the arts, and sports and recreation. Programs are available for members ages six through 18.

The Park Meadows Club will remain operational as renovations are completed in phases during the next 18 to 24 months.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County

Established in 1974, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County serves children and teens through school-based, neighborhood and community club locations. The nonprofit’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. After-school and summer programs focus on five core areas: education and career, service and leadership, health and wellness, the arts, and sports and recreation. For more information, please visit BGClee.org or call 239-334-1886.