Youth Center to open this month

Peek-a-boo you can see the Youth Center

The paper has come down.

The newspaper covering the front windows of the soon-to-be Granville PBA Youth Center came down Sunday night as work progresses toward an opening day.

 

Granville Police Benevolent Association President Dave Williams said he expects to open the facility this month, barring any other unforeseen obstacles.

The PBA plans to hold dances for youths as well as host the after-school program at the youth center.

Williams said the PBA chose to bring the paper down because it wanted to show off the work it has done as the opening date approaches.

The date has yet to be determined.

“We took it down because we’re getting close and we want people to know the day is near, although we still need to get a few things,” Williams said. “It’s going to happen and hopefully it’s going to be a gem for the community.”

“It’s close. You can actually see it coming together – I’m getting more and more pumped up each day,” Brenda Loveland said while working Sunday night.

Loveland, along with her husband, Joe, and son Joey were working along with Williams on some of the finishing details in paint and trim.

A few projects remain before the youth center opens, he said, however, nothing like what has already been accomplished.

The kitchen needs a countertop installed. Cubbies and coat racks need to be installed near the front door. The ceiling needs to be completed as well as the bathrooms built and the new sprinkler system needs to be tested.

The light and sound system will be the last project completed after the dance floor is finished, just before the youth center opens. The system is currently being used at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the PBA’s youth dance fundraisers.

The sprinkler system, despite a deep discount from Williams’ stepbrother who works as a Boston-area sprinkler system installer, cost more than the PBA budgeted for opening the doors.

Community members and groups stepped up with more than $25,000 in donations to keep the effort going, Williams said. “That was kind of like the (lynch-pin) task; it seemed insurmountable at the start,” he said. 

With six months and more than 1,500 man-hours into the project from PBA members and numerous volunteers, Williams said one thing he had not done was sit down and figure out exactly what the whole project cost.   

“The major hurdles are behind us thanks to some very generous donations,” Williams said. “Once we secured the money (for the sprinkler system) we all gave a big sigh of relief,” he said.

“Now that we’re buttoning up the ceiling it’s like we’re saying goodbye to that hurdle and leaving it behind,” Williams said.

Jeff Rescott, a plumbing instructor at Saratoga BOCES, volunteered to do the work creating the girls and boys bathrooms for the facility, saving the PBA time and money, Williams said. “We’ve got so many people to thank; everyone’s been really good to us,” he said.

In hopes of generating more interest among the kids, Williams said, he created a Facebook page for the “Granville PBA Youth Center,” which was well on its way to 200 fans.

Although the opening took much longer and cost considerably more money than anticipated, Williams said, the questions he gets peppered with at school each day indicate there is still a great deal of interest among the youth of Granville. “There’s a lot of buzz out there,” Williams said.

When complete the youth center will host an after-school program to give kids a safe and secure place to go and hang out after the school day is done. Williams said the youth center will offer the free after-school program for kids as well as a new location for the PBA dances. The PBA plans to respond to a concern voiced by parents about the ages of the youths mixing at the dances.

New dances will be subdivided into grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. The new dance space will feature a DJ booth and computerized lighting.

The after-school program will be open to kids from third grade to seniors and run from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Williams said in addition to the food counter, the youth center will have a dedicated dance floor for the PBA dances, game rooms for television video games and pool and ping pong.

The PBA plans to have separate areas for younger children and older ones to play age-appropriate video games on Wii and Xbox-type games systems when the dances are not taking place.

The food counter will have light fare, including hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, sodas and pizza.

A separate part of the space will be set aside with tables and chairs as a quiet place where youths can do homework during the after-school program, complete with a WiFi connection for Internet access.

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