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Teen Center Opens in Columbus - KOAM TV 7

Teen Center Opens in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, KANSAS -

Southeast Kansas teenagers who say they have nothing to do this summer now have a new option. It's a teen community center. It's been in the works for several years and today, opened its doors in Columbus.

It’s a place to challenge your friend to video games, rock out on guitar hero, try foosball, shuffleboard, or just relax and get a snack. It's something that Columbus, Kansas has been missing.

“There’s nothing in this town for kids to do, we no longer have a bowling alley, we no longer have a skating rink, they just hang out at the square or at the park and they need somewhere to go, they need  a safe place where they know they belong,” says Tricia Boyes, a board member and volunteer at the center.

The Dragon Slayer Teen Center looks to fill that void. Targeting 6th to 12th graders, there will be tutoring during the school year, and soon will feature a movie and dance room.

Those behind the center hope it will provide positive experiences.

“It’s not a new thing for kids to find trouble when growing up in a small town a lot kids fall into the pattern of going out into a pasture and drinking or getting involved with drugs or making poor unhealthy choices because they just have nothing else to do,” says center administrator Joey Grieshaber.

Teens say it’s a place they can see themselves hanging out at often, offering games and activities they don't have at home.

“There will be fun times for teens to get time to know friends and make friends and just play around and stuff,” says Columbus teen Sayler Stanley.

“It’s something new and I think it’s something that will really help the community grow, and become stronger and closer,” says Riverton teen Petra Grieshaber.

The center is up and running because of volunteers. The building, games, electronics and even the materials used for renovations were all donated by individuals and local businesses.

“It means everything to get the community behind it and let the kids know that people are here for them,” says Boyes.

The plan is to have additional programs, from trips to guitar lessons. The hope is to be able to fund those with the use of grant money.

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