Teen Center opening delayed

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Anticipated Feb. 14 opening moved to Feb. 28

By Carol A. Clark

The holidays and a personnel shuffle in the county attorney’s office in December contributed to the fact that the opening of the interim teen center has been delayed until Feb. 28.  County Council appointed County Attorney Randy Autio acting county administrator in early December, leaving the busy office with just two attorneys.
“We concluded our review of the contract Jan. 14 and sent it to the county administrator’s office for signature Jan. 21,” Assistant County Attorney Dan Gonzales said this morning. “The county signed the contract Jan. 21 and the YMCA signed and returned the contract Jan. 27. We’re happy the YMCA is on board and we think the teen center will be a real asset for the community.”
The Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly said the county has been great to deal with and has worked hard to turn the contract around.
“We just felt we need a little more time to prepare the teen center to open,” Daly said. “Students in our youth committee have selected their color scheme and members from the Kiwanis Club are joining youth from Los Alamos High School for a painting party on Feb. 19. We just wanted to have time to get everything prepared and to move all the necessary items into the facility before we open.”
Teen Center Program Manager Michelangelo Lobato said the community has been “incredibly supportive.”
“They have donated many items that we wanted to provide for the youth including a foosball table and a pool table, which allows us to use that money on technology such as more computers or better computers for the teens,” Lobato said. “The Kiwanis Club and the Episcopal Church have been amazing with all the help and support they’ve given us.”
During its Dec. 21 regular meeting, the county council granted unanimous approval of the interim teen center to operate at TOTH church near the high school. Council approved a $189,327 contract with The Family YMCA to operate the interim teen center. Funds to conduct a study regarding the project were approved last year. The temporary center will operate while work is completed to establish a permanent teen center.