Shady Cove teen center possible with community help

A youth center in Shady Cove has been on the want list for many years, but never gotten beyond that point. Last week, the Shady Cove City Council learned for the first time it appears a center will become a reality. Shady Cove-Elk Trail Principal Tiffany O’Donnell and two Shady Cove students, Justus Eresheas, 8th grade, and Jeff Clark, 6th grade, presented a well thought out plan to the officials.

O’Donnell has been working with a number of community people including the Upper Rogue Action Team and a major donor, who remains anonymous. The results of her efforts are significant. An anonymous donor will lease the building that once housed the paint store and espresso for a teen facility, spend up to $5,000 for renovation, install security cameras, computer table and chairs, two desks and chairs, give $10,000 toward the salary of a coordinator, pay utilities, give snacks, activity materials and other incidentals.

The Upper Rogue Action Team stands ready to give $6,000 to the teen project. This money comes from their annual golf tournament. Other partners include the Upper Rogue Community Center (URCC) stands ready to supply a vehicle for field trips.

A pool table has been donated by Shady Cove Police Chief Rick Mendenhall, the URCC has donated a foosball table, parents have said they have an air hockey table and a soda machine for the center.

These are examples of community members ready to make this center a reality.

The facility would be under the umbrella of School District 9. In addition to a number of activities, there will be an area for computers and for students to do their homework and to receive help with their homework. This necessitates a coordinator with not only leadership skills but someone who can help students with homework. And, of course, there will be plenty of opportunity for volunteers and for people with special skills.

The primary need is for more funding to pay for a coordinator. Shady Cove officials seemed to feel they could come up with one-time assistance from the general fund of at least $10,000, but that still leaves somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000 needed (depending upon the experience of a coordinator) for the first year. The yearly estimate for a coordinator is between $35 and$49,000 including benefits., according to the plan put together by O’Donnell.

The center would be open during the school year from 3-7 p.m. Tues., Thurs and Sat. And from 2-7 on Wednesday and Saturday. Summer hours were not defined.

The city council planned a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. to discuss more details with O’Donnell.

Those wishing information on wanting to donate can reach O’Donnell by calling 830-6206.   
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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