New center opening Saturday on the west side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A former Boys and Girls Club is reopening as a center on the west side for all ages. 

What was once known as the Atkins Boys Club is now the Friendship Westside Center 4 Excellence. 

It’s located near 16th Street and Tibbs Avenue. 

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church bought the building several years ago. 

It was open but the pastor there says they were constantly making repairs, so they decided to shut the center down so they could revamp it from the inside out. 

With the help of church members and NBA player and Pike High School grad Jeff Teague, they raised enough money to do it. 

The center now houses a basketball court, named after Teague, a game room and banquet area. 

Those running the center plan to hold educational seminars there and open it up for family and game nights. 

“We have what most of the people have. We have the basketball, we have the pool table, we have all of that, but we’re going to try to bring some more things here that some of our young people have not been used to,” said Pastor Ronald Covington, Sr. “We want to really, when they leave here, want them to leave here better than they came, that’s our dream, that’s our desire for them.”

There’s a grand opening celebration at the center Saturday. 

It’s located at 3131 West 16th Street. 

The event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

There will be cocktails, appetizers, dinner, dessert and a presentation about what the space will be used for. 

You can buy tickets to the event by calling 317-602-8180 or emailing