Our Early Years
The original site of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor has a ton of history! From 1910 to 1954, this was the site of St James Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1954 the church sold the land to the YMCA who converted the building into the Ellis Community Center. Between 1958 and 1980, the YMCA added a teen center, a gym, a pool, locker rooms, and weight rooms. In August, 1990 the YMCA announced it would be closing the Ellis Branch. The Ellis Community Center was near and dear to many who had used this building and made so many memories there, so in December, 1991 the Friends of the Ellis Community Center reopened the Ellis Community Center. Finally, on November 16, 1993, a Boys & Girls Club came to Cedar Rapids when the Ellis Community Center chartered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
When first opening its doors as the Ellis Community Center Boys & Girls Club, the organization held recreational sports leagues, gave the community access to the pool and weight rooms. In 1997 the pool was closed and the Club's sole focus changed to serving underprivileged youth in the Ellis neighborhood. It was then that the Club officially became the Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Rapids. At that time the Club served on average 45 youth each day.
In 2004 the Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Rapids partnered with First Congregational Church on 17th Street SE to open the South Unit and serve youth on the east side of Cedar Rapids.