City Manager Rod Butler said the teen center, which had been run until recently by the non-profit Center for Human Services, was taken over by the city after grant funding for CHS staff members ran out.
The city now pays $50,000 a year for the teen programming center and rent on the building, which is located in the True Value Shopping Center at the corner of West Las Palmas and Sperry Avenues. The budget also includes paychecks for staff officials and funding for field trips and activities for the teens.
“Currently, we’ve been taking advantage of the facilities nearby,” Butler said of nearby Tilton Park, the Patterson Aquatic Center across the street and adjacent skate park.
Recreation and Community Services Director Juliene Flanders said the most recent focus has been some successful recruiting efforts on Patterson High School minimum days, which happen on two Wednesdays a month.
“We’ve gained a lot of new participants from those activities,” she said.
Staff recently announced there would be several field trips, games, karaoke and open microphone nights in the near future. The first open mic night will take place Friday, Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the center.
Patterson and the Center for Human Services opened the revamped hangout spot in February 2012. The original Teen Center previously stood in a building at Highway 33 and I Street.
Regular activities have included homework assistance and Tuesday night dinners among other events.
Teen Center representatives have hoped friendlier location would attract more students, particularly as many teens already hang out in the area, which also contains various eateries and the Patterson Skate Park.
The Center for Human Services had been losing money on the Teen Center while paying rent for its old facility, and the agency had to dip into its reserves to make up the deficit. The agency received a grant in 2011 to allow it to temporarily space at its current location.
Butler said that the current location will not be permanent, and while not releasing details, hinted that staff would be bringing an item before city council near the end of the year or in early 2014 regarding the possibility of building a permanent teen and community center that could house staff members as well.
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