A new Oregon Youth Center could include a pair of lounges, an indoor and outdoor basketball half-court, pool and foosball tables and a multi-use space.
At least that’s what a set of renderings included in the Feb. 1 Planning Commission packet shows. The commission is expected to have a conceptual discussion on the new youth center.
“It is such a beautiful space,” OYC director Diane Newlin said of the drawings. “(Architects did a great job of) looking at our wish list and making sure that the important pieces are in there.”
That list included items like large windows on doors “so we can see the kids at all times,” the basketball court being further away from the road than it is now and a kitchen space with a freezer, pantry space and dishwasher.
A new Youth Center building, which would replace the current one at 110 N. Oak St., became a real possibility in December, when the Oregon Community Resource Network nonprofit group announced it would pass through a donation of $800,000 toward a $1 million project. That came on the heels of OCRN organizing the fundraising and construction of the new Oregon Area Food Pantry, which opened late last year.
The $800,000 gift came from an anonymous donor, OCRN board member Randy Glysch told the Village Board in December.
The current building used to be a village EMS garage and is considered inadequate for the center’s needs for a variety of reasons, including an awkward internal layout, poor heat retention, outdoor play space, lines of sight, lighting and overall size. The youth center provides an after-school program and a summer drop-in program for grades 5-9.
The drawings from OPN Architects and Supreme Structures Inc. show an approximately 5,165-square-foot building with one lounge area surrounded by glass to maximize natural lighting.
Newlin said she’s shown the drawings to some of the kids who spend regular time at the center and heard rave reviews.
“We had a couple little groups of them come in and take a look here … and they are over the moon excited about having a new space they can call home and they can be proud to tell their friends and family they spend their time at,” she said.
The future site plan would not need Village Board approval, but because it’s on village land, the board would have to approve tearing down the current building and erecting a new one.