The Boys & Girls Club at Bethune Park in Wimauma got ready for its opening with the help of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, which has a substation in the new building.

After an expansion project that took two years to complete, the Boys & Girls Club Wimauma at Bethune Park opened its doors in August.

Located at 5809 Edina St. in Wimauma, the expansion added 3,000 square feet to the existing building, which will allow the club to serve more of the community’s youth. The existing structure was also modernized and retrofitted to allow for more of the programs the Boys & Girls Club is known to provide.

Additionally, the building will also house a Hillsborough County Sheriff Substation, which creates a community collaborative and place where the community sees law enforcement officers as mentors.

“Excited doesn’t begin to describe the emotion I am feeling regarding having our new building completed and ready for our kids,” said Club Director Ronneka Peacock. “We are blessed to see it come to fruition and I am deeply honored to be a part of BGC history.”

Wimauma children will once again get that complete club experience, which helps ensure success is within reach of every young person who enters its doors by being on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship and living a healthy lifestyle.

The Boys & Girls Club at Bethune Park offers multiple program areas for youth as well as a computer lab, teen room and serving area. It is open for after-school programs for both students attending brick and mortar schools as well as eLearning students. Some of the after-school programs offered include an after-school meal program, academic enrichment and homework assistance, mentoring, anti-bullying and cyber safety, fitness programs, arts and crafts, photography and teen programs.

Peacock said the space is more than just a club for youth and their families. “These programs benefit the Wimauma community as a whole,” she said.

With the safety of its staff and youth being a priority, the club is following CDC-recommended guidelines for safety, including taking the temperature of everyone prior to them entering the building, sanitizing hands upon entry and every hour, setting limits on building capacity, ensuring youth follow the 3-foot perimeter rule, keeping assigned seating in rooms, designated ‘not feeling well’ areas and avoiding close-contact sports and activities.

The Boys & Girls Club at Bethune Park is open for after-school programs on Monday from 1-6 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday from 2-6 p.m.

For more information or to register your child for one of its programs, call 682-4618 or visit its website at www.bgctampa.org.