New West Side Girl Scout Leadership Center Expands Services
At Edgewood ISD's inaugural Gamma Sigma Girls™ and Gamma Sigma Pearls Investiture Ceremony, more than 100 teen girls were welcomed into Girl Scouting. Among the lit candles and enameled membership pins, leaders from Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (GSSWT), Edgewood ISD and the Westside Development Corporation unveiled plans for the new West Side Girl Scout Leadership Center at Coronado/Escobar, located at 5622 W. César E. Chávez Blvd., formally known as W. Durango.
Recent membership growth required GSSWT to vacate its Avenida Guadalupe Girl Scout Center after nearly 20 years. With the vision to establish a larger facility designed to better meet the unique needs of girls and adult volunteers on the city's West side, GSSWT approached its educational partners looking for a potential location. Edgewood ISD closed the Coronado/Escobar Elementary School campus last year in reaction to anticipated state budget cuts and offered to repurpose the facility for use by GSSWT.
"This is a great opportunity for the Girl Scouts, the district and this community to work together! I am very excited about the possibilities that this partnership will open for the young girls and families of Edgewood ISD in the West side and surrounding districts," said Dr. Jose Cervantes, Superintendent for Edgewood ISD.
For three years, GSSWT will lease nearly 40,000 sq. ft. of the 65,000 sq. ft. campus, including the cafeteria and gymnasium. Renamed the West Side Girl Scout Leadership Center at Coronado/Escobar, the new facility will house seven staff members and serve as the council's hub for girl programming and adult learning opportunities for 4,879 girls and nearly 1,000 adult volunteers in not only Edgewood ISD but also East Central ISD, Fort Sam ISD, Harlandale ISD, Lackland ISD, portions of Northside ISD, San Antonio ISD, South San Antonio ISD, Southside ISD and Southwest ISD.
"The new West side center is bigger than Girl Scouts and Edgewood ISD," says Rose González Pérez, CEO for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. "It represents the entire city and its leaders saying that they believe in today's girls and their leadership potential. They know that Girl Scouts is the best organization to give their girls and families the tools to succeed, and to overcome the leadership crisis facing this nation...we must invest in our girls and it's great to see the local leadership taking up our cause."
The new West Side Girl Scout Leadership Center at Coronado/Escobar will provide a safe space for girls and young women (grades K-12) to interact and participate in year-round programming, and will focus on STEM-related activities with a K-12 Robotics Lab and Apple MacBook Learning Lab.
GSSWT's membership is reflective of the region's demographics with 59% of its girl members being Hispanic. However, a gap in Hispanic adult members still persists. In order to provide a sustainable Girl Scout Leadership Experience for Hispanic girls, GSSWT's new facility will also provide families with a wide variety of enriching classes and educational opportunities, including public speaking, goal setting, team building, parenting, financial literacy and healthy living.
The enhanced services and expanded meeting space made possible by the larger facility is expected to have an economic impact on the area, attracting Girl Scout members from all over San Antonio and the council's 21-county service area who would not otherwise visit the Edgewood community.
Moderate renovations will be made to the facility over the summer and the new West Side Girl Scout Leadership Center at Coronado/Escobar is scheduled to open its doors in Fall 2012.