A reoccurring theme heard over and over at several community planning meetings is the call for a teen and youth center. A place to hang out, be safe and have fun, with productive things to do. That will soon be a reality when the Boy’s and Girl’s club opens the doors at its new location at 200 East in Price.
Director Mckell Warburton stresses that this facility is for all kids in the community. Sometimes there is a misconception that the club is for troubled youth, but she emphasizes that is far from the truth.
The teen program will be the first part to open and will serve youth in seventh grade through age 18. They are shooting for an open house on October 1, but plenty remains to be done at the center.
Currently the Boy’s and Girl’s Club is already operating at Mont Harmon Junior High with various programs and activities. Moving into the building will allow them to expand what they currently do. In the teen center, which is located downstairs, there will be a kitchen facility to hold cooking and nutrition classes. Also located in the basement will be an art room, technology center and gaming area. Plans for a pool table and foosball are in the works as well.
The club will be open after school until 6 p.m. each weekday as well as during early-out days, school vacations and throughout the summer. Transportation to the center will be a combination of the center van, parents and other volunteers. The Boy’s and Girl’s Club is still talking with the Carbon School District to see if other transportation options exist.
Every aspect of student safety is being taken into account, including background screenings and extensive training for staff and volunteers with the program. Staffing ratios for kids to staff will be strictly followed.
Classes and activities will center around five core missions. They include character, education and career, health and life choices, arts and sports, fitness and recreation. The activities will be driven by the kids that are involved and focus on fun. A homework “power hour” will kickoff each day. This includes tutoring and homework assistance for the teens.
The upstairs portion of the building will become a youth center with activities for kids in grades 1-6. All schools in the area are part of this and transportation to allow participation from the outlying areas is still being worked on. The activities in the youth center will also center on the before mentioned core values. Funding for the upstairs youth center is still being pursued with an expected opening date of the beginning of January.
Warburton is excited with the support she has had from Price City, Carbon County and the School District. There also has been a good working relationship with the cities of Helper, Wellington, Sunnyside and East Carbon. Other agencies such as the Southeastern Utah Health Department and United Way of Eastern Utah have also helped move this project forward. She emphasized that the project has gained plenty of support from other entities and that she appreciates the help from everyone.
Recently engaged, Warburton is leaving the area. A new director will be on board to take things to the next level in a few weeks.