Council approves permanent home for teen program
Thomasville teens now have a place to call their own, a facility where they can go and hang out safely.
At its Tuesday night meeting, Thomasville City Council unanimously approved a donation of the old North State building at 16 Trade St. The motion was made by Councilman Ronald Bratton and seconded by Councilwoman Pat Shelton.
The building, which has not been used by North State since 1984, will house Thomasville’s Parks and Recreation teen program, The Scene. City Manager Kelly Craver said that with the assistance of a few grants, the place can be up and running in no time.
“We will be looking at that facility for our teen program and will be applying for grant funding through the Governor’s Crime Commission and PARTF grants,” Craver said. “It looks like the building will probably cost $150,000 to change it from its current use to an assembly building.”
According to Craver, the building needs renovations, including a second exit, HVAC work, paint and some other upgrades, but he calls it doable.
It is a great downtown location within walking distance of the audience that typically frequents the scene,” Craver said. “One of the problems we have had is having a permanent location for the program. This may very well fit the bill.”
The Scene is a teen program that began in July 2011. The program is geared toward middle and high school students who want to come and have a safe place to hang out. One major component of the program is that teenagers respect themselves, the program and each other. The program addresses all types of different issues but centers around respect.
The old North State building will give the program a permanent home. Pogram director Andrew Watkins is excited about the impact it could have on the city.
“This is almost surreal. We started with occupying a room in the recreation center but to be moving in the direction of having our own building shows that the sky’s the limit,” Watkins said. “I am excited and I think the kids will be also.”
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