JU offers land, helping hands to launch new Boys & Girls Club

The newest element of a longterm Jacksonville College plan to assist revitalize its Arlington neighborhood focuses on a 4-acre piece of JU-owned land now occupied by solely timber and litter.

However JU has leased a lot of the property to the Boys & Women Golf equipment of Northeast Florida for a $2.5 million teen membership, which may even perform as a laboratory of types for numerous JU educational packages and as a group assembly place.

The brand new membership’s anticipated excessive use and visibility — on busy College Boulevard at Justina Terrace, a number of blocks north of the campus’s fundamental entrance — might spark different redevelopment within the space, stated JU president Tim Value and golf equipment president and CEO Paul Martinez, each JU graduates.

“It could possibly be a catalyst,” stated Martinez. “That is going to be the brand new beacon locally.”

Martinez and Value each graduated from JU within the early Nineteen Eighties and keep in mind their time there fondly.

“That 4 years was a transformative time,” stated Value. “There couldn’t have been a greater time to be at JU. … It was an incredible faculty. I really feel it may be once more.”

He thinks Arlington, the place the group has deteriorated and the financial system and households wrestle, might be nice once more too. He remembered operating by way of Arlington, as a part of his baseball-staff coaching.

“We didn’t have the amenities, they informed you to go run. Seven miles each day,” he stated. “I used to be from New York … By no means noticed this a lot inexperienced. I consider I received to know no less than visually how lovely Arlington was.”

However the group deteriorated and its financial system and households wrestle.

Value, who turned JU president in 2013, has targeted on outreach since his return and needs the school to play a number one position in restoring the group. Additionally, JU needs to to open itself up extra to the group, somewhat than be the school behind the gate, stated senior vice chairman Michael P. Fleming.

Fleming famous the remark made by Steve Matchett, of the Previous Arlington neighborhood enchancment group, that “JU had been bleached from the material of Arlington.” The school needs again into that material, he stated.

“Now we’re working working for the good thing about Arlington. We need to make an funding locally,” he stated.

That’s why JU is leasing the College Boulevard property — valued at $850,000 — to the nonprofit Boys & Women Golf equipment for $1 a yr for 50 years.

The partnership got here collectively when Value found…

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