Q: Why is the Scout House being rebuilt? A: The original Scout House was built in 1952 by scouting families and volunteers. It has been well-loved and well-used over the last 65 years. From Scout meetings and service projects to ping pong and art classes for seniors, the Scout House hosts more than 550 gatherings each year. The time has come for this wonderful building to be updated to meet the needs of the scouting and senior communities today. Currently, the building has nearly no heating or AC, no audio-visual or other technology, a small dated kitchen that can only be used by a few scouts at a time, inadequate and non-ADA compliant bathrooms and inadequate camping equipment and troop storage. The new building will have dedicated areas for both the seniors and the scouts, and facilitate the intergenerational programming that the City of Manhattan Beach wants to continue to grow for our community.
Q: How much will the rebuilding cost? A: As of July 2017, the estimated total cost for the project is $3.5 million, which includes construction of the building, courtyard, furnishings and appliances throughout, and fundraising costs. Over the last two years, $1.3 million has been raised. Friends of Senior & Scout Community Center is continuing to raise the remaining $2.2 million to ensure the success of the project.
Q: How will the Senior Community benefit? A: The City of Manhattan Beach Older Adult Program is continually expanding its programs and activities to meet the increasing needs of the seniors in Manhattan Beach. Although they have dedicated space at the Joslyn Center, it is inadequate for their needs and the seniors use the Scout House to gather to play ping-pong four times a week and take part in an art class one day a week. The seniors can use the Scout House for little else as the space and technology do not exist.
With the new building, seniors will have an office for an Older Adult Program staff person on-site to support their programming, and multiple rooms for activities of all kinds from computer classes to social gatherings. Many new and expanded classes and activities can be held in the new facility to ensure continued learning, as well as health and social benefits that are critical to aging well. There is no limit to the number of programs that could be offered to our seniors if adequate additional space becomes available for their use in a new Community Center.
Q: How will the Scouting Community benefit? A: Currently, only 22 Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and Cub Scout troops/packs utilize the Scout House on a regular basis largely due to space limitations, yet there are more than 90 troops/packs in our community. From weekly Boy Scout meetings to Girl Scout overnights and service projects, the Scout House is well-used, but many troops are forced to find outside venues to conduct meetings, ceremonies and celebrations because the current building is too small. By increasing the space available, multiple troops can use the building without being on top of one another. More storage will keep troop materials and items safe. A much improved kitchen, a new flag pole, and a small amphitheater with a fire pit will enhance troop functions and enable new activities.
Q: How will our greater Manhattan Beach Community benefit? A: Both the senior and the scouting communities are key to our Manhattan Beach community. The new facility will be home to our award-winning Manhattan Beach inter-generational programming and allow this vibrant direction to grow and serve more seniors and young people. The facility will also have a restroom with an outdoor entrance which is adjacent to the ball field. This is a much needed additional facility for the South end of Live Oak Park.
There are more than 10,000 adults age 55+ in our community – a number that will only grow over the coming years. Providing opportunities for these individuals to be healthy, social, and to engage with each other and the young people involved in scouts is critical to aging well.
There are more than 1,500 scouts in our community. Scouting provides our children and young adults with an opportunity for personal growth, leadership development, community service opportunities, and to learn life skills they may not get anywhere else. Our entire Manhattan Beach community benefits from healthy engaged seniors, opportunities for seniors and young people to be together in creative ways and for scouts to develop into active citizens committed to health and wellbeing of our community.
Q: What is the involvement of the City of Manhattan Beach? A: The Friends of Senior & Scout Community Center has partnered with the City of Manhattan Beach. The Friends Board has conducted all planning and preparation for this project including the design of the building, polling both the senior and scouting communities for their needs, and conducting fundraising in support of the new building. In August 2017, the City Council gave its endorsement to the initial building plans and councilmembers have expressed support for finding up to $250,000 to support the project. Once the new building is constructed, it will be owned by the City, and they will provide all insurance, maintenance, repairs, and daily upkeep to ensure the long life and beauty of the building.
Q: I love the Scout House. It is part of Manhattan Beach history. Why can’t you preserve it? A: We love the Scout House too, but it is simply too small and inadequate for our many and growing needs. Seniors and Scouts need more space and a modern, well-equipped building to facilitate their meetings and activities.
There will be a connection between the new structure and the historic Scout House. Every effort will be made to preserve parts of the current Scout House to reuse in the new design such as retaining the Scout House signage, and re-using the fireplace and hearth flagstone and as much of the interior wood siding as possible. The grand Boy Scout clock and the beloved massive wooden table and benches will be incorporated in the new furnishings as well. And perhaps most important, the Pinewood Derby commemorative plaque will be moved and have a permanent home as a part of the grounds.
Q: How will donors be recognized? A: In the building lobby, there will be a permanent tile wall, plaque, or similar to recognize our significant donors. The exact design has not yet been developed.
Q: Are there naming opportunities for donors? A: Yes, the City has agreed that we can name rooms and other entities within the building and courtyard for donors $25,000 and above. See the donate page for a tentative list of the opportunities available.