After weeks of searching, the Golden Youth Action Group (YAG) is proud to announce it has finally found its new home.
“We hear loud and clear that the youth in Golden wanted to be downtown,” said Sara Nichols, the youth co-ordinator for the group. The Youth Centre Advisory Committee decided they wanted to prioritize the feedback from the youth, and chose the storefront space in the Patlar Building, formerly the Crooked Antler, for their new Youth Centre.
“We looked at this spot when we went on our tour of all the available places, I really liked it,” said Zoey Lowe, a member of YAG.
“I’m really happy with this space, it’s nice to have a storefront location. It shows ‘here we are, and we’re not hidden away in a basement.’ I like that we’re in the middle of town where everyone can see,” added Kailyn Trask, another member of YAG.
The group is working on the design of the space, but is aiming to have a flexible space that will allow for a variety of activities including: hanging out, ham nights, movie nights, a pool table, art projects, meetings, and coffee and snacks.
“I’m hoping to see a lot of different programs in a variety of different areas. This is something that will be good for everybody whether you’re into sports, arts, music, trades would even be cool,” said Katelyn Oszust. “It’s important to us to make it so everyone has something that they can connect with here.”
Both Trask and Oszust graduated from high school this year, and will be moving onto other things in the fall. And even though they won’t be around to enjoy the youth centre, they both believe it is an important project.
“I was born and raised in Golden, and I want the future generations to have those opportunities. I have a little sister who’s going to be growing up here. I just think it’s really important to have,” said Trask.
Oszust, who also has a younger sibling growing up in Golden, agreed saying, “I have a little brother who will grow up in this town. And just growing up here myself, I know that there needs to be something more for youth. So being able to do that for future generations is really cool.”
YAG, thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust, will be busy in August designing the space, putting in a kitchenette, and furnishing and decorating the space. Ned Johnson, a builder with iBG, and Dave Ratlaff of HR Pacific, have graciously donated their time and expertise. The group is looking for people to help out at the Youth Centre and will be posting working times on the Golden Community and YAGers Facebook pages. The first design meeting will be held in the new space at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Aug. 7, and youth are encouraged to attend.
They are also looking for items from the community. The group needs kitchen cabinets, a double sing, bookcases, rolling chalkboard, and other items. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have items that you would like to donate, or want to volunteer your time and skills.
“I think this will be a really good thing for Golden. It gives us something to do,” said Lowe.
“Other students are already really excited about it. They’re excited that we’re getting a pool table, it was donated to us already by the Nicholson Fire Department. That was cool to get,” added Trask.
The centre will be opening sometime in September, and is planning to have a big “Grand Opening” event.