The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 22, 2012

Christian-based teen center to open Tuesday

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA —  

 It took a lot of fundraising, elbow grease and a whole lot of prayer, but Geneva’s Christian-based teen center will open Tuesday with a public open house.

“We are very excited to open,” board member Skye Jerancic said. “It has been a long road to this, but we are operating by God’s grace in all we do.”

The group will open the doors to The Grounds, a teen center with a spiritual base, which began as a coffee house, located at the former Curves building at 304 E. Main St. The open house will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, with regular hours from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday.

Teens, children and adults are welcome to the open house.

“We are happy to have the adults come so we can explain what we are doing and what we are all about,” board member Doug Dean said.

The center will offer coffee, tea and sodas along with pre-packaged snacks and foods for sale. Local musicians will perform at the center, which can also be used for youth group meetings and special events.

Board members hope to add tutoring and other teen services at the center soon.

“We are beginning as an after school program,” Dean said. “This is a gathering place for youth and young adults, a positive place to go. Kids get bored and they find mischief. We are looking to give them that positive alternative.”

There are no memberships for the daily events at The Grounds, but the center asks that teens and young adults adhere to strict rules of conduct.

“They are free to come and spend time here, but with structure, board member Phil Schmidt said.

The center features board games, Foosball tables, Ping-Pong and pool games.

Even as The Grounds opens, there are still needs for the center, Dean said.

“We need 2x6 and 2x8 wood for the stage,” he said. “We need a urinal. We need a mop and bucket, and a 40 or 50 gallon water heater. We can sell anything pre-packaged to eat, so small bags of chips or pre-packaged cookies are needed.”

Cans of soda and individual bottles of juice are also needed, along with toilet paper and paper towels. Adult and teen volunteers are needed to fill a long list of jobs.

Schmidt said the center is sponsored by local churches, but still needs funding to pay for the “substantial cost” of doing business.

Monetary donations can be made to The Grounds by sending checks to P.O. Box 521, Geneva 44041.

Anyone interested in booking The Grounds as a meeting space or youth group space, call 466-5584 or 466-3420.