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Teen Center Now Open

Teen Center Now Open

After a year of discussions and planning, the new Teen Center at the Miller Recreation Center, 1402 W. Bank St., will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m.

Following a call by citizens for fun, safe programming for youth in the community and affordable options for parents, the parks and recreation department began to formulate a plan to introduce a Center in early 2017.

“It really started with the first round of Community Conversations back in 2016,” said Nick Aceves, parks and recreation director, “where the attendees shared a desire for more recreational options for children. In addition, our department wanted to get ‘back in the game’ of doing our own original programming.

The city parks and recreation staff will lead the programming for children grades 6 through 12, and coordinate with community organizations to offer homework assistance, life skills and activities, as well as specialized programs, such as DJ and music classes, Happy Roots gardening and equine therapy. In addition to working with community organizations, Teen Center staff also will be working with other city departments, such as the Salisbury Police Department, in an effort to create a closer bond between community youth and city personnel. Such efforts will include teens and officers playing pool, foosball and video games together.

Grant funding was awarded from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation in support of the new Center. The $50,000 grant will provide staffing, an ID card maker, cameras, new computers for the computer lab, new furniture and other recreation supplies for the free youth program. Also, members will receive a renewable picture ID that will allow them to ride Salisbury Transit buses at no charge.

“On behalf of the City of Salisbury, I would like to thank the Robertson Foundation for its generous gift to help make this worthwhile project possible,” said W. Lane Bailey, Salisbury city manager. “I’d also like to thank Nick and his parks and recreation team for developing solid recreational programming for our youth.”

“This is a truly exciting time in Salisbury,” said Jason Walser, executive director of the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation. “Many great things are happening in our community, and the Robertson Family Foundation is proud to be able to help launch this new program, which we think will impact many youth in Salisbury for years to come. We appreciate the dedication of city leaders who are working to create as many opportunities for our community’s youth as possible.”

The free program will be open year-round after school with extended hours in the summer. The Miller Recreation Center will still be utilized during the day for senior programs and community meetings.

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