COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley broke ground on a new teen center in Columbus on Tuesday.

The 6,800 square foot facility will bear the name of a long-time member of the organization’s board of directors. The Teen Center is the latest addition to the North Columbus Boys and Girls Club on 29th Street.

Officials say the new facility will help teens access resources for academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character development opportunities.

The center will be named after John Flournoy, a former Columbus developer who has spent over four decades supporting the Boys and Girls Club.

Rodney Close, the President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley, spoke to News 3 about the importance of the new center.

“Very important to our community because a lot of things that we’ve been seeing over the past few years, a couple of years throughout the pandemic and just a lot of gun violence,” said Close. “We’ve got to be able to help our kids understand that there’s a different way, you know, a different way to try to solve problems and issues and really so they can go on and do great things in our community.”

The project’s funding comes out of the $10-million Great Futures Capital Campaign, which has also provided funding for the relocation of the East Columbus Boys and Girls Club, renovation of the J. Barnett Woodruff Boys and Girls Club, and upgrades to technology and transportation at several local sites.