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Roofers pitch in for Boys, Girls Club roof

The childrens' center has a new roof thanks to contractors who donated materials and labor.

By RON MATUS, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 16, 2002

The childrens' center has a new roof thanks to contractors who donated materials and labor.

INTERBAY -- On Saturdays, J.R. Owens is usually hunting, fishing or four-wheeling.

But last Saturday, he and 27 other members of the West Coast Roofing Contractors Association were pounding nails in the sun.

The mission: a roof for the new $600,000 Boys & Girls Club center across from Robinson High School.

The cost: free.

"It needs to be done," said Owens, who works for Gulfside Supply, which provided the crane.

Thanks to the contractors -- and manufacturers that provided supplies for free -- the much-anticipated center is closer to completion. Opening is slated for mid-September.

The new building will be home for the Boys & Girls Club chapter that now operates out of Rembrandt apartments, just around the corner on Lois Avenue.

The club provides afterschool and summer activities for up to 100 children each year between the ages of 5 and 18.

The new building will have five rooms totalling more than 5,000 square feet, including one just for computers, said Paddy Moses, director of development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay. The current building is 1,500 square feet.

New furniture is also part of the package.

The new building has "turned my motivation over 1,000 times," said Melvin Forman, the chapter director. (Forman is featured on the cover of today's City Times.)

Bob Geesey, president of the roofing association, said the roof would have cost $30,000 in materials and labor.

The group does volunteer work once or twice a year. Last year, it put a new roof on the Children's Cancer Center on Cypress Street.

The new building will be named after Liberte Mompierre, mother-in-law of former Boys & Girls Club board member Kevin Gowen. Gowen donated $75,000 in Mompierre's name.

-- Writer Ron Matus can be reached at 226-3405 or

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