Not just another teen hangout

KINGSTON — If all goes according to plan the site on Minder Road in the dead center of North Kitsap will soon become the center of the youth community.

The North Kitsap Youth Educational Service Teen Center is taking the next step on a long road to construction.

The 18,000-square-foot building and outdoor area is planned for an area adjacent to the Kennedy Industrial Park and Abe Young Industrial Park at Minder and Bond Roads.

“It’s not a teen warehouse. We are going to encourage and facilitate success,” said Terry Pratt, NK Teen Club director.

Pratt recently struck a deal with Kitsap County to staff and direct youth oriented programs at the Kingston Community Center. He said the programs he is developing at the community center with be expanded once the NK Teen Center is finished.

The center is expected to cost about $1 million to build. It would contain a gym, soda shop, pool tables, ping pong tables, an indoor amphitheater and an outdoor multipurpose area. It would also include classroom space and offices.

Pratt said the space would also be an area where children can go “and just be themselves.”

Pratt also envisions two buses would run a east and west route taking kids who might otherwise go home to an empty house. A bus stop is also planned for Minder Road for the school district routes to drop kids there.

“It’s going to be fun,” Pratt said.

Programs such as help with homework, life skills, and arts and crafts would be offered. A behavior code similar to the one used by the North Kitsap School District would also be adhered to Pratt said.

NK-YES Board member Paul Crawford chimed in, “It’s going to be first class.”

But to be first class means having the capital to do so. NK-YES encourages churches, businesses, and groups to contribute to the non-profit project.

The initial money, about $1.4 million, will be raised for the construction and first year costs, but it is hoped the center will be able to sustain itself with annual fundraising events.

So far they have received about $70,000.

The board of directors for NK-YES is Abe Young, president; Murphy Boughner, secretary; Dan Baskins, treasurer; Terry Pratt, director; Ricki Brooks, director; Paul Crawford, director.

For information contact Crawford at (360) 649-8774, or check out the web site at www.TeenCenterNKYES. net.

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