The Westfield Lions Club has relocated to a new space that it plans to renovate after leaving its longtime home on Jersey Street earlier this year.
The club, which was established in 1930, had been at 120 Jersey St. since 1957, but it acquired 1.6 acres of property at 1031 E. 169th St., said Jeff Larrison, secretary of the Westfield Lions Club. Larrison said club members plan to rent out the space to the community for functions such as meetings, birthday parties and other gatherings when renovation work is completed.
“I think it brings something new to the community,” Larrison said. “It’ll be a nice community center-type of facility.”
The upstairs level, which encompasses 3,800 square feet, could possibly be used for meetings held by local nonprofit organizations, such as Boy Scouts and 4-H clubs, free of charge since those entities were able to do so at the old building, according to Larrison.
The club sold its space on Jersey Street earlier this year to make way for Old Town Companies’ Union Square development, which will feature retail, commercial and residential space. The new club is halfway between Oak Ridge Road and the Monon Trail on East 169th Street.
“It was sad to leave our Jersey Street clubhouse with all its memories, but it’s also exciting to start a new era for the club,” said Rodney Benson, president of the Westfield Lions Club.
Benson said the new club is in an excellent location with great visibility from 169th Street, noting that the goal is to attract additional members when it is up and running. Lions Club members met temporarily at Christ United Methodist Church after selling their building on Jersey Street but are looking forward to getting their new space renovated.
Renovations are expected to cost around $250,000 for the new building, which will also be used for annual Westfield Lions Club fish fry events. Work is expected to begin in the spring, with the building being fully accessible by the end of next summer, according to Benson.
A large portion of the building will be dedicated to meeting space, while another section will be renovated for a large kitchen area. The club also plans to add larger bathrooms in the new building, while space will be renovated for a kitchen area as well, said Dave Sobczak, who is also a Lions Club member.
Larrison said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club successfully recruited new members and participated in different events in Westfield. However, he said the club “has struggled to get that momentum back” because of the pandemic.
Larrison also said the club, which is open to men and women, wants to recruit younger people who can offer new ideas as it moves forward. Still, he is optimistic about the future, especially as the new building takes on a new look with its upcoming renovation.
“We’re excited,” he said.
To learn more about the Westfield Lions Club, visit its website at westfieldlions.org or call 317-804-1875. The club meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Christ United Methodist Church, 318 N. Union St., in Westfield that is open to the public.