City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng today opened the Park Teen Center at Park Middle School, 855 South 8th Street. The Teen Center was created from 2,700 square feet of storage space at the school. It includes a computer lab, class and meeting rooms, game tables, a video game and television lounge, vending machines, a kitchenette, restrooms and office space.
“The goal is to meet the social, recreational and enrichment needs of the young people in the Park Middle School area,” said Mayor Seng. “This is a place where they can get help and receive services, but also a place where they can relax with friends. I want to thank the Lincoln Public Schools and the many volunteers, funders and organizations that came together to create this special center. This is an important investment in our community.”
This summer, the Teen Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. During the school year, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Teen Center has an exterior entrance for access during non-school hours. The inside access is near the cafeteria and gyms. The Teen Center will be staffed by one full-time coordinator, two VISTA workers and five part-time staff from the Parks and Recreation Department.
The programming for the Teen Center was developed by Park teachers, administrators and students and well as the Youth Advisory Council, parents, community organizations, neighborhood representatives and Parks and Recreation Department staff. The programs include Lincoln Initiative for Tutoring (LIFT), academic enrichment clubs, a photography club, health and lifestyle programming, family nights and adult workshops and activities. Summer activities will include participation in the Summer Food Program. Programming partners include the Lincoln City Libraries, Neighborhood Service Exchange, Girl Scouts and Volunteer Partners.
The construction of the Teen Center cost about $182,000, which includes in-kind contributions from the Lincoln Public Schools and the Parks and Recreation Department. Construction donors are the Building Strong Families Foundation, Lincoln Cares, the Dillon Foundation and the Parks and Recreation Foundation. Program donors include the EducationQuest Foundation, the Woods Charitable Fund, the Lincoln Community Foundation, the Cooper Foundation and the Lincoln Community Outreach Foundation.
The Teen Center concept began in 2002 when the City received a grant for academic support, recreation and career exploration at Park. As other needs were identified, the City and LPS worked together to identify space and find funding. A joint City-LPS board provides oversight for the Teen Center, and an agreement between the two governs daily operations and responsibilities.