AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – If your child goes to the Hagler Boys and Girls Club, they’re in for a treat.

It’s been seven years since the club opened its current building, and now they finally have an updated athletic complex they hope will shape the next generation.

“Our kids have really missed the opportunity to play outside on playground equipment, and they had our big field but they didn’t have access to all of these other things that they now have,” said Kim Evans, the CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta.

There’s a new playground, a baseball field that doubles as a football and soccer field, a chipping area and putting green, a pickleball court, a community garden and a walking track.

“Particularly golf, they have the opportunity now to learn how to play a game that they probably would never even consider because of the barriers of entry to that sport,” Evans said. “It would be amazing if some of our kids could end up becoming the next pro golfer or Tiger Woods even.”

A $2.2 million state grant was used to pay for the complex, but they’re relying on donations to maintain it.

“We will need to continue to raise funds to continue to support all of our staff and the people who pour into the lives of kids every day,” Evans said.

Andre Lacey II found his passion for golf at the Hagler Boys and Girls Club in the 90’s, and hopes these new additions do the same for today’s youth.

“If somebody’s exposed to something, they may like it, they may not. But it will drive them onto something they do like,” Lacey said. “So being able to expose them to something they normally wouldn’t see in their communities, it just creates so many other paths they can take.”

Lacey believes programs like this will help reduce behavior issues, and ultimately crime in the community. 

“Most kids who get in trouble or find trouble, it’s out of boredom,” he said. “So providing a place, a safe space for them to play, practice, learn, be exposed to so many different things will absolutely help with maintaining the area,”

Kids will be able to enjoy the complex starting Friday. The club still needs the community’s help for future projects. To get involved, click here.