What do a strip club and the Boys and Girls Club have in common? That seems like an absurd question but the two do have a connection – at least in Ohio.
Pending approval by the city, the site of a former strip club in Union Township, Ohio, will become the home of the third Boys and Girl Club in Clermont County, Ohio.
Déjà Vu Showgirls Strip Club — part of Déjà Vu Consulting, which owns 75 adult entertainment clubs in 16 states — occupied the property at 516 Old Ohio 74 until the club closed in December 2011. The now-abandoned property was purchased Nov. 8 for $300,000 by the Union Township Community Improvement Corp. (CIC). Among the property’s new tenants will be, pending approval of the purchase, the local Boys and Girls Club of America affiliate.
A call to Déjà vu Consulting was not immediately returned.
The Boys and Girls Club will occupy 4,000 square feet of the 17,000-square-foot building. While the idea of a charity meant to keep troubled youth out of harm’s way occupying a location with such a negative connotation might be strange to some, the Boys and Girls Club sees it differently.
“It’s an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade,” said Jan Still-Lindeman, senior director of public relations at Boys and Girls Club of America national office in Atlanta, Ga. “We go wherever kids need help, regardless of the location.”
The new facility would be the third in Clermont County, though the first in West Clermont. The organization already has two facilities in New Richmond. There had been a location in the West Clermont School in Amelia, but it closed a year and a half ago because of continued financial woes, according to Jill Cochran, executive director of Boys and Girls Club of Clermont County.
When asked why the Boys and Girls Club chose this specific location, Cochran again emphasized the importance of turning a building with such a negative reputation into something positive for the community. She also mentioned the location has been on the organization’s radar for some time.
“The building is in a great location,” Cochran explained. “It’s close to apartments so the children will be able to walk to it easily.”
All Boys and Girls Clubs locations are different when it comes to programming, and Cochran said this facility plans to focus on education, good character, leadership, and healthy lifestyles.
The city is expected to vote on the purchase on Nov. 21. Should it be approved, Cochran said she is not sure when it would be open, but she mentioned they have already concluded a $235,000 fundraising campaign for renovations, start-up costs, and the first year of operation.
Cochran says the organization’s steering committee has already met with many members of the local community, who she says have been extremely supportive.
“I can’t say enough about Union Township and their cooperation on this,” she said. “The community support is going to make this successful.”