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Cavs, NBA renovate space for Boys & Girls Club (video)

With a big assist from the National Basketball Association and the Cavaliers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland has expanded to a ninth CMSD school.

League and team representatives, including coach Tyronn Lue and players, were at East Tech High School on June 8 to dedicate a new "learn and play center" where teenagers can go after school to work on computers, study, get in a game of pool or table tennis and play board games. The former library was renovated through the NBA Cares program.

The center will be part of Boys & Girls Club that club and school officials say will provide a sanctuary for teenagers concerned about gang violence and other danger on neighborhood streets.

"This is a place for our teens to have fun and do teen things, said club Director Richard Starr, a 2007 East Tech graduate who played football for the Scarabs and served as class president. "We want to be that safe place, a safe haven."

The club will operate from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition to activities, the club will offer tutoring for students.

"They don't always want to go home at 3 o'clock," Co-Principal Paul Hoover said. "This provides that, and it gives them a space where they can be kids."

Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs have moved from operating stand-alone centers to co-existing alongside partners like the District.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland now operates in nine District schools. The others are at John Adams and Lincoln-West high schools and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Michael R. White, Andrew J. Rickoff, Mound, Luis Munoz Marin and Walton schools.

The Cavaliers have a history of helping District schools. The team recently announced plans to renovate basketball floors in high schools and, in partnership with Goodyear, give the District $500,000 for education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).