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Davis, California

Monday, July 22, 2024

Teen programs may settle down at Veterans’ Memorial Center

The teen center may get a new home at the Davis Veterans’ Memorial Center after more than two years without an established location. On Oct. 4, the Davis City Council approved a feasibility study to address the need for an additional meeting space.

The city sold the original teen center, located on Third and B Street, in 2009; it now houses the Bike Hall of Fame. $1.5 million was made from this sale, $30,000 of which will now go toward the feasibility study.

According to Connie Foppiano, community services manager for the city, the study is part of the city’s Parks and Facilities Master Plan, which includes renovating and modernizing certain buildings, one being the Veterans’ Memorial Center.

After the teen center was sold, Davis Community Services implemented the Youth Advisory Task Force (YATF), composed of Teen Activity Specialists (TAS), to research and address the needs of Davis teens. TAS were assigned to each junior and senior high school to plan activities and serve as liaisons to their respective campus.

The YATF helped draft the Strategic Teen Services Plan, which was reviewed on Oct. 4.

Anne Marquez, Davis Community Services Supervisor, said Teen Services currently runs programs on school campuses and hosts several junior high dances at the Veterans’ Memorial Center. This summer it ran a drop-in summer program, The Vault, for Davis teens.

“If the feasibility study was to come to fruition, then we could use that space but it would be open to many more uses than just teens,” Marquez said in an e-mail.

Foppiano confirmed that even if the Veterans’ Center were renovated, it would not be a designated teen center. It would, however, allow teen services to hold more after-school activities.

Foppiano said Teen Services managed to run many programs without a central location and that it will continue to offer school site programming during late start and lunch.

“It’s just a different way of doing business,” she said.

Foppiano said she thinks the Veterans’ Center is a great option for space.

“It’s right across the parking lot from Davis High School, is in the center of town and is on the bus lines,” she said.

Councilmember Dan Wolk said the Veterans’ Center is a good choice for the move because both would benefit: the teen center would get a permanent home and the Veterans’ Center would get a chance at restoration. He also said that teen programs have used the center successfully in the past.

“Acme Theater Company is a successful, student-run teen program that used the Veterans’ Memorial Center,” Wolk said. “Fees for the center have doubled, hurting their program.”

Wolk said that city council decided to section off $70,000 to go to teen programs, such as Acme. The council will discuss this matter further during the next meeting on Oct. 18.

EINAT GILBOA can be reached city@theaggie.org.


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