News & Announcements
Ground-breaking Expected by Early Fall, Opening Late 2022 Last week the State released the $3.9 million that had been appropriated last year for the construction of the Southside Teen Center. It is expected that construction will begin on the 17,000-square-foot multi-use facility in late summer or early fall of this year, and that it will open in the fall of 2022.
Located across Country Club Rd. from the Southside Public Library and adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club, the center's allocation of space is based on surveys of teens who were asked what they want and need: a gym, game room, arts and crafts space, a dance and performance studio, and an outdoor sports area/soccer field. The kids' top motivations for their choices were for places to de-stress, stay healthy, and build relationships with peers.
The Teen Center will be in District 3, represented by Councilor Abeyta and Councilor Rivera. Councilor Abeyta says, “For years, there had been plenty of discussions about the need for a teen center in this neighborhood, and when I ran for office three years ago, I prioritized this project. I am grateful to Councilor Rivera, Mayor Webber, and our local State Representatives and Senators that it is becoming a reality.”
Councilor Rivera concurs: “A teen center has been much needed on the Southside where most of our children live and play. I'm thankful to all involved for helping to make this a reality.”
The center will promote education and career opportunities, health and wellness, afterschool and child care programs, and provide outreach services to benefit the community as a whole.
Kyra Ochoa, acting Director of the Community Health and Safety Department, says: “The City has long recognized the growth of our youth population on the Southside, and the development of Zona Del Sol kick-started youth services in the area. With the exciting addition of the Southside Teen Center, we can provide not only recreational opportunities but resources and support that youth in the area need to thrive. The City’s Community Services, Recreation, and Public Works staffs have worked diligently with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board and with community groups to ensure the building and design fit the needs of young people. Countless community leaders and community members have championed the project over the years. All of this collective advocacy and hard work have made this dream a reality.”
"Having a comfortable place for teens to be able to reach out to each other and adults who can help is something that has been needed on the south side of town for a really long time,” says Alicia Gettler, a junior at Monte Del Sol Charter School who works at the Boys & Girls Club. “I am excited to see it get built."
The building will be LEED-certified Silver for sustainability, by conserving money and energy, reducing waste and greenhouse emissions, and promoting the health and safety of occupants. It is anticipated that the project will be ready for solicitation of construction bids in late Spring / early Summer.