"It's due time for some upgrades:" Sherman Park Boys and Girls Club closes for renovations

MILWAUKEE --Another arrest has been made in connection to the looting and rioting that occurred two weeks ago during the unrest in the Sherman park neighborhood. Meanwhile, a change is coming to the park itself.

Each day hundreds of kids rely on the "Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club" in Sherman Park for summer or after school activities. Now, those doors are closed until Halloween.

On Saturday night, August 26, there were few people outside the youth center and there was no one inside either.

Mary Ryan boys and Girls Club

Club manager Marco Morrison explains the facility ceased its programming the day before to accommodate a massive renovation.

Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club

"Right now, we're in the process of getting our HVAC unit replaced," said Morrison said. "The building was built 25 years ago. Obviously, it's due time for some upgrades."

Morrison says the timing couldn't be helped. The closure comes two weeks after the officer-involved shooting death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith near 44th and Auer. The incident sparked unrest around the Sherman Park neighborhood on the nights of August 13 and 14.

Unrest in Sherman Park

While many parents tell FOX6 the club has been a positive, safe place for their kids, following the unrest, Morrison says the close has been planned for months.

"When they do come back, they'll be able to see a more upgraded and updated program space for their kids to utilize," said Morrison.

The Milwaukee County Executive's Office says a shut-down was found to be the most cost-effective way to expedite the $2.3 million infrastructure project. As part of the plan, they also plan to moved the teen center from its current cramped quarters into a larger space that will include a brand new music recording studio.

Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club


Darius Saxton

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Police make another arrest in connection to the looting that took place back on August 13. Investigators say 27-year-old Darius Saxton of Milwaukee was at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Store, Metro PCS and Jet Beauty.

According to his criminal complaint, Saxton denied taking anything from the stores except some lingerie he says he took from Jet Beauty. He allegedly told investigators he dropped the items in the street after leaving the store. He's now facing three criminal counts of burglary.

During the closure, the "Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club" will provide transportation for member to attend either the "Fitzsimonds Boys and Girls Club" on North Avenue or the facility inside Washington High School.