After unveiling initial plans over four years ago, the City of La Verne is excited to pursue next steps in moving the City’s Teen Center project forward. On Wednesday, December 16, the City will host a virtual workshop to provide an overview of the project, share its progress and next steps, and take comments from community stakeholders.
“As my retirement nears, I am pleased to see this project take yet another step toward becoming a reality for the La Verne community,” said Community Services Director Bill Aguirre. “From conception, we have spent over 22 years planning and advocating for a dedicated space for La Verne’s youth in order to provide them with positive and enriching experiences, as well as life long friendships.”
In fact, teen centers around the country and in the San Gabriel Valley with similar programs are linked to positive community outcomes such as higher community engagement, improved educational developments and reduced negative behavior.
The concept, ideation and planning for the Teen Center has been an ongoing process for many years. In early 2016, the City hosted a strategic planning workshop to help determine how the City can best support its teenaged youth. Additionally, local teens at nearly all of the City’s high schools and middle schools were surveyed several times to better understand their needs and to help better prioritize resources. Over the years, City staff also made themselves available for questions from the public at two meetings at Heritage Park and went before the Council on three separate occasions to ensure their input was also incorporated into the plans for the Teen Center.
Based on the input received and insight gained from these activities, Teen Center programming will include sports and chess tournaments, opportunities for creative expression like painting, dance and photography, as well as organized physical fitness classes. Recreational activities, such as ping pong and pool tables, will also be available at the facility. The Teen Center facility will be built at Las Flores Park, which will allow the City to include the outdoor activities identified as part of the center’s programming. These programs will help foster healthy habits, leadership, collaboration and creativity among the City’s youth.
“While an unfortunate situation, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of social connections and the value of peer-to-peer engagement for our youth,” said La Verne City Manager Bob Russi. “With this in mind, we are designing this future facility to allow our local teens to have these all-important experiences, which also encourages and maintains the City’s tight-knit community culture.”
Because the Teen Center will cater to La Verne’s youth, many of whom cannot drive, the City is also looking into providing a shuttle service from the City’s middle schools to the Teen Center. To support the shuttle service and the ambitious Teen Center programming, City staff is hard at work pursuing a number of grant funding opportunities.
La Verne residents may submit written comments to the City’s Community Services Department to be addressed at the virtual workshop by mail addressed to:
ATTN: Bill Aguirre
Community Services Director
3660 D Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Comments may also be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments should include their phone number, so City staff may contact them during the meeting and must be submitted by Wednesday, December 16 by 3 PM. For any additional questions, please contact the Community Services Department at (909) 596-8700 Monday through Thursday.