Teen center receives giant financial boost

COOS BAY, Ore.-- The Southwestern Oregon Boys and Girls Club in Coos Bay is getting a much needed financial boost towards the completion of its new teen center.

The Oregon Communities Foundation is awarding the organization $25,000 to help it come into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

"One of our biggest expenses was ADA compliance," Cindy Ball, chairman of the club, said. "We were going to be compliant no matter what, but installing the elevator shaft is very expensive."

The new teen center will be on the second level of the current Boys and Girls Club building. Right now, the current teen center is a small lounge with one computer.

Ball said the teen room was only meant to accommodate upwards of 20 teenagers, but now the teen center is handing on average 60-70 teens daily.

"The numbers have just increased and increased and increased, and we're here to help where there's a need in the community," she said. "There is a need for teens to have a safe nurturing place to go."

Ball said the new center will look like a modern day downtown coffee shop. There will also be a stage where teens can perform, and those with disabilities will have a ramp up to the stage as well.

The Oregon Community Foundation has often helped out this chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. There is a wooden plaque on the wall of founding organizations when the chapter began back in the 1980s.