The new Oregon Youth Center took its first tangible step to reality at its groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, June 28, at the site of the next building – and the current one – 110 N. Oak St.

Last December, an anonymous donor gave $800,000 to the Oregon Community Resource Network for the project, the same group that shepherded the new food pantry to completion.

At the Planning Commission’s June 7 meeting, OCRN chair Randy Glysch said the project was in great shape.

“As of today, we have $950,000 in the bank,” Glysch said. “We (have) what we need to build a good building, we have the lease. … In a relatively short time, we’ve done a pretty good job here.”

The ceremony itself featured short speeches by Glysch, Supreme Structures president Dan Bertler, who will build the structure, Oregon Youth Center board president Erin Chisman, Oregon Community Bank CEO Steve Peotter and Village Board president Steve Staton.

Staton touted the importance of adults on kids’ lives, citing research that shows “kids do best who have five adults in their lives besides their parents.”

He lauded the center’s mission and the role it plays in giving community kids a place to go.

“The key part of community is the last five letters: unity,” Staton said.

Contact Alexander Cramer at alexander.cramer@wcinet.com.