The mortgage on the Boys and Girls Club camp has been paid in full.
The 98 acres off Metchosin Road has been home to the BGC since 1984, but six years ago the foundation took an offer to purchase the land.
The BGC took its right of first refusal from the provincial government for $1.6 million.
Since taking ownership, BGC has been in full swing on seeking donations and fundraising through events such as theatre productions and golf tournaments.
“A lot of hard work has gone into raising the money,” said Kate Mansell, BGC director of development. “In six short years we did this.”
In December the foundation made its last payment on the mortgage.
With the mortgage payments coming to a halt the BGC will use its money to increase programs and improve the facility.
“Now we can focus on the new kitchen we are going to build next year,” said Patti Sullivan, BGC executive director.
The estimated cost for the kitchen renovation is $400,000. Already the BGC has secured $200,000 towards the project.
“It’s obvious we need a new kitchen,” Mansell said standing in the kitchen not much larger than a residential one.
Last year about 1,500 kids from Greater Victoria attended the camp. In 2008 it was only about 300. Sullivan said their goal is to have the camp operating 300 days a year and increasing the number the children who utilize the facility.
The camp has a handful of day cabins for meetings and activities. One cabin is “off the grid,” said Sullivan, explaining it’s in the forest and runs off solar power and a wood stove.
In the past six years the BGC has also been able to add two new cabins, two new washroom facilities with showers, an outdoor shelter area and renovated a multipurpose room.
For more on the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria, see www.bgcvic.org.