Cathy Russell, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Elgin, has a vision.
“I fell in love with this spot when we walked in here,” Russell said, as she walked through the dingy former public works building in South Elgin.
Cinder block walls, concrete floors, dim fluorescent lighting, the faint smell of truck exhaust. What’s not to love?
But Russell saw the big picture when she toured the building with a group in 2019. A 20,000-square-foot space in a residential/industrial neighborhood next to a public park. She couldn’t think of a better spot for a clubhouse. She said it was “perfect.”
It was a blank slate, just waiting to serve 250 kindergarten through eighth-grade kids a day.
“Some lucky people are going to get to go out and knock on all those doors (in the neighborhood) and say ‘Hey, there’s going to be this free program that’s…