No buses to new Rochester Boys and Girls Club for some families - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

No buses to new Rochester Boys and Girls Club for some families


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- If you have kids who use the Rochester Boys and Girls Club, you know they've moved into their brand new facility at "The Place."

But one grandparent says there are kids who can't get to the new Boys and Girls Club at all because their school buses simply won't take them to the new location.

The Boys and Girls Club has been in the new location for about a week, but some kids who say they used to be regulars have never seen the new location-- simply because they can't get there after school.

Dominic Sagen is one of Rochester's newest latch-key kids.

"Kids just have to ride their regular school bus and go home," said his grandmother Catherine Meir.

Sagen used to take the bus from Elton Hills Elementary School over to the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, but when the new location opened, there was no bus to take him there and no family member around to pick him up and drop him off.

"You'd have to be at school at 3:35 p.m. to pick the kids up, and most parents today, moms and dads both work or they're single parent families where the moms or dads work, and there's no alternatives," Meir said.

Meir says it has become an issue for families who live nearby who relied on the program.

"Kids in Northwest Rochester have lost the opportunity to go to the club and they're pretty bummed out about it," she said.

Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Jodi Millerbernd says they recognize the importance of busing of kids in, but with a new location and new bus routes to figure out, it will take time to make sure kids like Sagen have a ride.

"This is where we believe we can have the greatest impact in this community, and making sure kids can get here is clearly a concern and a priority for us as well," she said.

Millerbernd says the Club relies on the school district for busing. Parents who want to send their kids to The Place after school need to fill out transportation forms, and the school district will find where it has openings on buses.

To concerned parents, Millerbernd says things aren't going to stay the way they are now.

"We just opened last week so we're still determining what our transportation needs are and what the school district is able to provide," she said. "Once we determine where there are greatest needs and what our resources will allow, we'll look at our transportation support as well."

Millerbernd says the Boys and Girls Club does have a bus and a van to transport kids to The Place, and once they figure out where they have the most need, they will be able to help kids get to club that way.

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