Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio ‘strongly opposes’ locating the new county jail in Slavic Village

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 12:06 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2022 at 2:35 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cuyahoga County officials are considering the neighborhood of Slavic Village as the site for their new jail.

If the Slavic Village site is chosen, the new jail would be located along I-77 near Fleet and Pershing Avenues.

One of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio (BGCNEO) is located nearby the proposed site in the 6100 block of Broadway Avenue.

BGCNEO provides a safe place for kids ages 6-18 to go after school.

BGCNEO Director of Communications Ken Wood said the Broadway Club is the busiest of their 40 sites, with attendance sometimes exceeding 180 kids a day.

Joe Greathouse is the program Director for the Broadway Club and insists the messaging of building a jail in a residential neighborhood is all wrong for the community.

“By them seeing that in the neighborhood it is like forecasting their future to come,” Greathouse said.

Leadership at the BGCNEO made it clear that they are not suggesting that they singling out the Slavic Village potential site, they say any site, in a residential area, across the city is not appropriate.

Earl Ingram is the Director of Programming at the St Luke’s club and said the investment being made to build a new jail, estimated around 500 million, is staggering and wonders if that investment is helping move the community forward.

“Our community as a whole would stand to lose millions of potential future investment which can drastically change the futures of the young people,” he said.

Statement from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio:

“Cuyahoga County’s misguided and secretive pursuit of a new jail site in the Slavic Village/North Broadway area is a flagrant slap in the face to all the young people who find hope and inspiration at our flagship Broadway Boys & Girls Club. It is also an affront to all the families and businesses in a neighborhood still reeling from the foreclosure crisis 15 years ago.”

Cuyahoga County officials continue to stress that a site has not been picked and that there will be plenty of time for community input once the matter is sent to County Council for debate.

Jeff Appelbaum of Project Management Consultants said a front runner for the new jail site has not even been determined.

According to Applebaum, the selection process will go on for many more months, before a final location for the facility is finalized.

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