City of San Marcos supports an essential nonprofit with American Rescue Plan funds

Jun 30, 2021
When the city of San Marcos was looking for the perfect community-focused tenant to occupy a vacant block of commercial space in the Richmar neighborhood, city staff presented the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos with an incredible offer: a $1 per year, 30-year renewable lease and $1.2 million of additional funding to help pay for the tenant buildout to open a second San Marcos Clubhouse. This city’s extraordinary support was made possible because San Marcos allocated some of its American Rescue Plan funds to help a vital local nonprofit expand its space and programs. 

The new San Marcos Boys & Girls Club is designed to be a haven for local kids to play, imagine, explore, and learn in their own neighborhood. On June 29, the city and the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos celebrated the construction kickoff for the Richmar neighborhood’s new crown jewel — a 5,390 square foot Boys & Girls Club Autumn Drive Clubhouse that will serve up to 150 youth every day.

“The need for quality childcare programs has never been greater in our community,” said San Marcos Deputy City Manager Michelle Bender. “The Boys and Girls Club has been tirelessly working to meet the needs of our community, and they’ve outgrown their existing space. By partnering with this essential nonprofit, the city is proud to help expand services to the youth of our community who need it most.”

The city’s commitment to revitalizing the Richmar neighborhood spans nearly two decades. San Marcos has worked hard to lift up the community, which was one of the city's oldest and poorest neighborhoods and suffered from high levels of crime. The Autumn Drive Clubhouse — located in the heart of the now-revitalized neighborhood — now features attractive and modern affordable housing units and mixed-use buildings in a walkable and safe community.

“The city really understands the impacts the Boys & Girls Club has on this community,” said President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos Cathy Baur. “The fact that we are working together to help create a better future for the kids in our community is just remarkable. It improves the quality of life for our city and the region.”

The new Autumn Drive Clubhouse will provide children with safe and engaging spaces that will help them build bright futures.

Planned spaces include:

  • Game Room: The heart of every Boys & Girls Club, the game room will include pool tables, air hockey, foosball, and more. 
  • Performing Arts Area: This will enable kids to explore their creativity with a stage, lighting, and state-of-the-art sound system for performances. 
  • Maker Space: Children will have access to tools, equipment, and supplies that will encourage and foster curiosity, discovery, and learning. 
  • Tech Center: Access to technology will help youth to complete schoolwork and gain skills for their future careers. 
  • Demonstration Kitchen: Kids will learn how to cook healthy and nutritious meals and snacks.  

At the kick-off event, the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos will also launch a $1.5 million campaign to establish funding for furnishings, fixtures, and start-up operating expenses before its anticipated fall opening.