We’re glad to see a group of interested parties, after a long hiatus, back at work on a teen center for the Soldotna community.
The idea for a teen center in Soldotna has been kicked around for years, with appropriate space and adequate funding presenting themselves as the greatest obstacles. This time around, the working group has a $225,000 grant via the Boys and Girls Club to get started, and is now paring down potential locations for the facility.
Organizers have noted broad community support to go ahead with a pilot project, and meetings have been attended by a wide range of people — community leaders, parents, people who might provide services, and teens who envision themselves using the center.
Clearly, there is a need for a safe, positive place for young adults to spend their time after school or on weekends. Not every student is involved in cocurricular activities, and other places around town aren’t necessarily conducive to constructive choices.
Organizers envision a 2,000-square-foot facility. Space for working on homework would be available. Teens have suggested the center include such items as a ping-pong table, video gaming equipment, and space for art displays, dances and live music.
“People in town have been talking about a teen center for many, many years,” Annie Quinn, a Soldotna High School freshman, told the Clarion. “... I’m looking forward to it for future generations.”
We agree with Quinn’s sentiments. We hope she and her classmates have a space to call their own sooner rather than later. And we hope what is being pitched as a pilot project will become a permanent and positive fixture in the community.