If there’s one word to describe what Visioneering is here to do it’s redeem. And the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana was a project centered on redemption—redeeming a space for a new generation and redeeming a struggling neighborhood.
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana was one of the first Southern California clubs, built in the 1960s. Back then it was a different neighborhood. Kids were learning shop, home economics, maybe archery. Over the years, things shifted and drug and gang activity surrounded the building.
During the project we discovered something surprising: because of the history of people who have gone to the club as kids, even the gangs have a heart for the organization. So they have a certain code—no violence can occur in front of the Boys & Girls Club. But just off to both sides, drug deals run rampant. We actually had to look at defensible, bullet-proof glass to use on some of the facility.
Yet Visioneering wanted to shine God’s light, even in this public space, by partnering with the club to provide a safe place for kids where they can come inside and find peace and belonging and a space to grow.
Overall it was designed with an open plan to facilitate creativity. We were able to stretch a low budget and still create inspiring spaces. The Garage is the teen center, complete with a culinary kitchen sponsored by a taco restaurant. We developed a space for learning with robotics and labs, while the gym just needed a fresh coat of paint. Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels joined in the endeavor and created baseball and softball fields and redesigned the grounds.
With tears in our eyes, we got to witness the day the club reopened. Around the 60th anniversary of the Boys & Girls Club, this was a new day, a fresh start, and a new chapter for Santa Ana. Kids rushed over from the middle school across the street and were fascinated by the sensor water in the bathrooms and having air conditioning for the first time—simple things we take for granted.
Fun story: Our own Art Velasco (head of Quality Assurance/Quality Control) worked at this Santa Ana club as a kid. He actually used to hide sticks at the corners of the building to defend himself when he was walking home. It was rewarding for Art to be part of this renovation and build hope for a new generation. And it was a very redemptive experience for us all.
Visioneering Studios, Inc. is part of a family of companies with three other entities that provide services in their related areas of expertise and licensure: Visioneering Studios Real Estate, Inc. (general consulting, feasibility analysis, and property related services), Visioneering Studios Architecture, Inc. (licensed architectural and design services), and Visioneering Studios Construction, Inc. (licensed construction, general contracting, and design-build services). Each company is registered and licensed in each state where they operate, in accordance with the laws and regulations of each jurisdiction. To view more information about each company’s state-by-state licenses, please visit our licensing pages.