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Boys & Girls Club hopes to get back to normal in 2 to 3 weeks

LACONIA — Cheryl Avery, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, said yesterday that work to overcome the damage done to the club by vandals is progressing well.

Avery said that the plan is to reopen the community room, kids' cafe and kitchen as soon as possible in order to restart the club's before-school program. She said that the program, which serves between 15 and 20 children of working families between 6:30 a.m. and the opening of school at 8 a.m., is the immediate priority. Recalling that the club operated in confined space at the Lakes Region Community Services building before moving to its new home at the former St. James Episcopal Church, Avery said that as space is restored and becomes available the club will resume normal operations a step at a time, but expected that two or three weeks would be needed to complete the cleaning and repairs.

Meanwhile, the after-school program will continue to operate at Laconia Middle School until further notice. "The arrangement with the Middle School is working very well," Avery said. "The teachers and staff have been very welcoming."

Vandals broke into the club last weekend, where they caused what Police Chief Chris Adams, the president of the club, called "significant damage," including extensive water damage to the sub-basement. On Tuesday, police announced that three students of Laconia High School, all males aged 14, 15 and 16, were arrested and charged with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies. The three juveniles will be prosecuted in by the juvenile division of the 4th Circuit Court - Laconia.

 
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