Portland neighborhood fights to reopen Boys and Girls Club

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 12:01 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Residents in the Portland area aren't backing down on their attempts to reopen the Portland Boys and Girls Club.

Recently, a community group presented an offer to buy the now closed building from the Salvation Army, but organizers say that offer was rejected. They are now planning more fundraisers and more meetings with community leaders and they plan to keep working with the Salvation Army until they can get this club reopened.

"120 days ago, it was a pipe dream. 120 days later its reality," said Scott Harris of the Andy Maupin Youth Development Center.

"We got a reply back that it just wasn't good enough," Harris said.

A sign was placed on the building earlier Tuesday, but it wasn't by this group. It was placed by a neighborhood that's fed up.

On Tuesday, leaders talked about how they plan to move forward.

"We are still making a push to get our building back at 2501 Portland Avenue," Harris Said. "It's titled to the Salvation Army and we encourage them to do the Christly thing, which is their mission statement. Do the Christly thing and donate it to an organization that they no longer want and put it back to the city."

The Salvation Army owns the building, which once housed the Portland Boys and Girls Club. It was forced to close in 2010 due to budget constraints

This group has held numerous fundraisers and hopes to reopen it as Andy Maupin Portland Youth Development Center. It would be named after a man who spent more than twenty years working for the youth in Portland.

Maupin died in an industrial accident in April and this would honor his legacy.

His father says this setback won't deter him.

"We've got a big need in this community," said Danny Maupin. "This is a very diverse community and there is a need here and I think the Salvation Army needs to take care of that need. I'm hoping what I heard today is that they will have a change of heart."

The spokesperson from the Salvation Army, David Yarmuth said, "Whatever the outcome, as long as it benefits the Portland neighbors and community, that's what we want."

Yarmuth said they continue to negotiate with the Andy Maupin group as well as talking to other interested parties.
 

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