Friday, July 10, 2009

THE CENTER IS CLOSED (temporarily!)!

Effective end of the day today (Friday, 7/10) the Northwestern Community Youth Center will be closed due to construction and the Summer Park Program.

We will resume our regular summer hours for Middle and High School students on Monday, 7/27.

If you normally come to The Center in the afternoons (or even if you don't!) and would like to volunteer, shoot Julie an e-mail at or message her on myspace.

Need community service hours? Want to be a role model for a younger student? Just can't get enough spending time with Julie? Come volunteer :) Someone has to do it so you guys can be at The Center - pay it forward!

The Center Under Construction!!

As promised, an update on our construction - - -

Thanks to a grant from the Erie Community Foundation, we are in the midst of the wonderful choas and confusion of a remodeling project! As of last week, we have our building permit displayed and have started work on our plans.

When we are done, we will have an office to store the server computer, administrative paperwork, and other office equipment. This will free up some much-needed space in the front of the youth center. At least part of that space will likely become a bike rack/backpack-storage area for our teenage crowd as more than once our entryway has turned into a bicycle parking lot!

The new office!!!

We are also in the process of building in a new handicapped bathroom, and remodeling the kitchen and other bathroom. We will finally have running water going to the kitchen! The kids are excited about the prospect of having ice in their drinks.

Remodeling the kitchen and adding a bathroom!

We are also in the process of remodeling the old workshop (the youth center building used to be an old hardware store) into a half-court basketball court/gym. We will likely be moving our exercise equipment out there for use on days when we have a volunteer to run the gym area. The kids (and I!) are waiting anxiously for the basketball court to open, and we are hoping it will be ready before the cold weather of the infamous Erie winters moves in!

Basketball court/gym under construction!

A special thanks to Byron Gurnee and his great team of workers who are helping us with the construction on this project! We couldn't do it without you (at least, I'm sure *I* couldn't do it without you!). Also, thanks to Mr. Freeman for the metal bars on the windows to make sure our basketballs stay *inside* the basketball court!

Next up, an update on our summer park program!! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Welcome to the Northwestern Community Youth Center blog! I will attempt to keep this as up-to-date as possible, and post information on new events and updates on what is happening inside The Center! Later today, I'll post information on our Summer Park Program and the renovations taking place inside our building.

First though, I'd like to introduce myself to those of you who haven't had the opportunity to meet me. My name is Julie, and I was hired as Director last October (2008). I grew up in East Springfield and attended schools in the Northwestern School District from K-12, graduating in 2001. Following graduation, I enrolled at Otterbein College in Westerville, OH. In 2006 I graduated with a BA in Religion with a minor in Sociology. I moved back home in 2008 to take this position and am thrilled to have (in my opinion) the best job ever!

I would also like to take this first opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported me, and the youth center as a whole. To our amazing board of directors: Thank you for your faith in me, this program, and our area's youth. To the Northwestern School District, our local churches, and our individual donors: Thank you for your continued support and your dedication to meeting the needs of these kids. To our snack ladies (and gents!): Your unselfish example has really impacted a number of our students, as have your wonderful baked goods! We all truly appreciate the effort you put into your work. And finally, to my dedicated volunteers: Thank you for the hours of patience, hard work and dedication to these kids. We couldn't do it without you!

Up next: Summer Park Program and renovation information!