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  • April

  • DPR Construction aids renovation for Boys and Girls Club

    Monica Rodriguez, Staff Writer
    Created: 04/25/2010 02:59:05 PM PDT

    POMONA - Weeks of designing, planning and building came together Saturday when dozens of construction workers converged on the Boys and Girls Club of Pomona Valley.

    While some people planted a flower and vegetable garden behind the club, others were painting the inside of the club with vibrant colors.

    Carpenters built a sturdy wooden structure that will allow club members to take refuge from the summer sun while they wait to take a dip in the nearby pool.

    The renovation project was carried out by DPR Construction as a gift to the club.

    The club's executive director, Victor Caceres, said what DPR has done is huge.

    "We never expected it to be so awesome," Caceres said.

    While working on the construction of two new buildings and a parking structure at Western University of Health Science, company representatives and club officials began talking.

    "We saw a lot of potential with this site," said Jason King, an engineer with the firm.

    The company invited subcontractors it works with to participate, King said.

    More than 30 companies agreed to help out with labor or materials, and some provided monetary donations.

    As of this weekend, the volunteer labor and materials added up to about $115,000, King said.

    Part of the construction work began April 16, but the big push was left for Saturday, which is National Rebuilding Day, he said.

    National Rebuilding Day is an annual project of Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit with chapters around the country.

    On the last Saturday of April, chapters carry out projects to improve the homes of low-income people, according to the organization's website.

    DPR Construction has a history of participating in such efforts, but in recent years the company began looking for bigger projects that would benefit more people, said regional manager Jim Washburn.

    In 2006 the company carried out its first Boys and Girls Club renovation project and has continued to work with clubs every year, he said.

    Taking on such projects is about giving back to the community, Washburn said.

    The Pomona club renovation includes refurbishing restrooms, building a small office for the club's athletic director, adding storage rooms and installing tracks for radio-controlled cars.

    The club's game room now has series of smaller rooms, each designated for a specific uses such as music programs and arts and crafts. Another room will become an education center with computers, a library and other educational resources.

    The club's former education center has been turned into a teen center, something the older members of the club requested.

    Getting to Saturday's massive effort involved considerable planning that included brainstorming sessions with children and teens.

    "The kids helped design everything. It was pretty fun," King said.

    Teens at the club said Saturday that they welcome all the improvements being made and see the changes as giving the facility a new feel.

    "It's more organized. You feel happy that you're here," said club member Asusena Valdez, 16.

    "You want to show it off ... It's a clean place and it's new," added club member Marcella Torres, 15.

    The work DPR has done is important on many levels, Caceres said.

    The company's work might be just a construction project, but "for us it's really building lives," he said.

    Such a project lets young people know that adults care about them, Caceres said.

    "The project DPR has taken on will make a difference at the club, but there are other needs that still need attention," Caceres said.

    The list of projects includes updating the club's facades, repaving the parking lots and upgrading the pool.

    The club also needs a new monument sign, and the gym needs acoustic tiles replaced with a more modern noise- reducing material, he said. Having a new music room requires such equipment as musical instruments, Caceres said.

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