By Faith E. Pinho | October 15, 2019 | 5:57 PM

Children crowded against the glass doors of the newly renovated Boys & Girls Club of Costa Mesa, chanting “Let us in!” and bouncing with excitement.

When the doors opened two weeks ago, the flood of giddiness rushed in, awash with “oohs” and “aahs.”

“It looks like a hotel!” one child exclaimed.

Indeed, the spacious STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs lined with glass windows and colorful walls bore no resemblance to the cramped space that club members had come to call their after-school home.

“I thought it was amazing,” said 10-year-old Valentina Anhielo. “I loved it.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Costa Mesa held its grand reopening Tuesday with a slew of dignitaries, community leaders and children in brightly colored club T-shirts.

The new design, which was built in about 4½ months, has more than doubled the club’s capacity from 125 children to 285. With an updated preschool space, a fully stocked area for young children and an expanded teen room complete with a kitchen and university-style study rooms, the club is set to serve children of all ages.

“I had a vision, I had a dream,” said Raul Jara, a board member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast for 22 years. “This is beyond that.”

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