RICHFIELD — After a year of planning, applying for grants, and much-needed renovations, the grand opening for the Lincoln County Youth Center is set to take place August 23.
“We are so thrilled with the support that we’ve received for this project," said Lincoln County Youth Center Board Member Karma Fitzgerald. "We expected this to be a three year minimum.”
However, there still are a few more remaining touches the board and staff have to work on before the big day. Having already gained so much support, the board is hoping it continues and people can help them with things they still have left to complete, like gathering necessary supplies.
“School supplies and printer paper and tools and toys for kids from ages three to eighteen to be able to work and function in an after-school program,” said Fitzgerald.
Once the doors do open, there will be further constriction, and remodeling in certain areas. Specific rooms will still be going through refurnishing, landscaping will be done on the grounds and flooring will be added to the multi-purpose room gym.
“We have a couple areas that still need some drywall and some remodeling that we don’t have the funding for, so there are those kinds of things," said Fitzgerald. "We've got the building open, we’re going to have kids in here, but we need some help with the little things.”
The hiring process has also started, and the board has some staff members like Veronica Cisneros helping out.
“I feel like I’m helping the community, and this is a very helpful youth center that is giving me the chance to come in here and grow at the same time,” said Cisneros.
Although some staff has been hired, there is a need for more employees to fill in coaching positions related to the arts, humanities, sports, recreation, drama, and music.
“We have four people on staff now, we need a minimum of four more people and preferably four to six right away, and then we’ll be adding positions throughout the year,” said Fitzgerald.
While there is still work to be done and have educational programs added along the way, those involved are eager to open the doors and let the community take advantage of all the opportunities the youth center will have to offer.
“I think it’s a year and thirteen days to when we got approval to do this," said Fitzgerald. "It's just overwhelming, we’re really excited.”
Other staff members are excited to get and start teaching the kids that utilize this service.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the kids grow and become what they want to achieve their goals and their dreams," said Cisneros.
Currently, the youth center does have registration open for its pre-K program, and anyone who would like to sign up is encouraged to head the youth center's website.