May 10, 2007

Progress Continuing at ‘The Place’

Two years ago, when “The Place” got its start, organizers had a vision of a fully functional youth center. After countless hours of volunteer labor and bountiful financial support from the community, that vision is continuing to take shape.

On Saturday, May 5th, Workers converged on the facility located on Market Street, just off the southeast corner of the city square for another workday. Laborers installed the ceiling ductwork and prepared the site for installation of a drop ceiling. A second team of volunteers worked upstairs installing drywall.

“It has come a long way from the days when this was an old apartment complex,” said Scotland County Youth Association Board member Joe Miller.

The main floor has been turned into one large common room, with a large kitchen area near the east end.

Miller said the group has plans to install desks and several tables and booths in this area and also will be installing a service bar at the kitchen complete with the old stools from the Gardine’s store.

“We want to install wiring for Internet connections and for computers to allow kids to use the room for work or entertainment,” Miller said. “There are plans for a video projection system upstairs as well.”

He stressed that the facility not only would be kid friendly but would be very serviceable for community groups and organizations in need of a meeting place.

While the workday made inroads into completing the ceiling, board member Beverly Talbert noted there is still plenty of work remaining.

She noted plans for installing flooring in the kitchen area as well as the front entrance. The group also plans to install carpet in the majority of the common room and the upstairs.

All of this work requires funding. Miller said the community has been very generous in supporting the cause. He praised Hopkins Lumber, Memphis Lumber and Cantril Lumber for their support of the project in material donations as well as the efforts of J’s Foods.

“We regularly receive financial support as well from donors, and we need every bit of it to offset the building and construction costs as well as just the day-to-day operating expenses such as the utilities,” Miller said.

Talbert noted that the group is planning a fundraiser next week.

The group will host a bake sale at Wal-mart in Kirksville on Saturday, May 12th. Anyone interested in donating goods for the fundraiser can drop them by The Place on Friday, May 11th or can contact Talbert at 465-8558.

For more information about The Place contact Miller, Talbert or any of the other board members, Tom Owings, Sheila Mosely, Helen Cone and Celeste Miller-Parish. The group also maintains a website at www.scyouthcenter.com where photos and regular updates are posted.

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