Believe in Us
Together we have made the ARC the hub of our community. We have provided Galena with 50 years of art, sports, fitness, child care, and early education.
Together, volunteers and donors have improved the lives of children and adults in our community. It is hard to find anyone who hasn't been impacted by ARC programming as they've grown up in Galena.
To promote individual independence and cooperation.
To develop community cooperation in programs and activities which further arts/crafts, sports, and recreation for all ages. To create a friendly, respectful social environment based on self esteem, discipline, fairness, equality and responsibility; collectively for the health, safety and welfare of all including family persons, groups and visitors.
In 1965, while Mayor of Galena, Robert Buehler, Robert Roth and Robert Murphy saw a void in the lives of local children who had nothing to do while outside of school. They created the Team Center Program. Team Center was based upon the principle that every boy who is present at games has the opportunity to participate. The organization was patterned on the Neighborhood
Boys Club of Chicago that Mr. Buehler had founded in 1929.
Later in that first year, the Team Center expanded and included the Galena Girls Recreation program, operating under the same principles as the boys’ program. In the first year, the programs served 171 boys and 150 girls.
In the late 1960’s, the Team Center merged with the budding Art & Recreation Center which was located on Main Street in Galena. The Galena Art & Recreation Center was then founded and funded by Mr. Buehler, the B & B Foundation (a Buehler family foundation dedicated to youth assistance programs) and special contributions. The goal of the Art & Recreation Center
was to serve the community members of all ages.
In 1969, the Art & Recreation Center moved from Main Street to its current location, the former St. Michael’s School built in 1886, at 413 South Bench Street with the aid of a forgivable and forgiven interest-free loan from Mr. Buehler.
In October of 1970, voters defeated a special tax levy to fund a part of the Center’s operations. For the next four years, only the summer sports program was continued, and the building was held on a minimum maintenance basis. Mr. Buehler continued to cover the expenses for both the programs and the maintenance.
In 1974, a bequest from benefactors Helen Boevers Brown and Ray Brown created the opportunity for the Art & Recreation Center building to be reopened.
With Art & Recreation Center funds and a matching government grant, the exterior brick was renovated, new windows were installed, a new roof was put on, and part of the playground was improved. A Director was hired and interest level in the Art & Recreation Center was at peak in its history.
By 1990, the Art & Recreation Center board members were faced with a continuing erosion of capital, costly new governmental property occupancy rules and the recognition that programs were no longer self-supporting. At that point in time, it appeared
that the building would have to be closed and programs terminated. A strong community fundraising effort matched 50% by Mr. Buehler removed that threat and enabled continuing renovation.
Believe in Us
We know the path we have traveled and are sure of where we've been. Together we will proceed forward and join forces to meet the ever changing needs for the future generation.
The ARC continued to offer a variety of sports and recreational activities both on the field (Recreation Park and W. Galena Township Park) and in the gymnasium. In the late 90’s a relationship was created with two Dubuque businesses to offer dance and karate to children; classes are still going strong today.
May 2006, at the age of 103, ARC founder and friend Robert O. Buehler passed away. For 39 years the Galena community had been truly blessed by his personal commitment and financial support. In October 2006 the ARC was named as a beneficiary under a 401K Plan owned by Mr. Buehler. The funds have been added to the ARC endowment and will provide the board with
income to assist with the administration of its programs and activities. The funds are a significant boost to the ARC endowment, but only a small step in the ongoing process of balancing the budget and achieving financial security.
In 2019 the Galena ARC relocated and expanded all of our programming, to our new location at 11084 US Hwy 20W. This move came about after a full community backed multi year capital campaign. 3 big expansions took place with the move: we now have a fully dedicated art wing, a wellness wing and we were able to add a classroom for infants, toddlers and 2 year-olds.
The ARC now has the capability of providing childcare for infants to twelve year-olds.
In 2022 the organization is looking to replace the floor and add in adjustable basketball hoops to the gym.