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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • New building for Arrowhead West leaves gap for Teen Center

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  • Sometimes growth is good for one organization but has a negative impact on another. That is the situation for the Pratt Teen Center.
    For the past eight years, Arrowhead West has rented the teen center for morning activities, said Kim Evert, Teen Center manager.
    Arrowhead West has a new building nearing completion in the Prairie Parkways Business Park on the north side of Pratt Community College.
    With the completion of that new facility, Arrowhead West will no longer need to rent the Teen Center and that will result in a substantial decrease in operating funds for the center, Evert said.
    "We're trying to find other avenues of income," Evert said. "That's going to be a big gap."
    The Pratt Teen Center is a unique facility, designed to provide a place for students to go after school for a snack, play ping pong, play Foosball, a basketball game, a basketball goal on the back yard court area, have access to Wifi, Wii games plus plenty of places to just lounge and hang out. They also sponsor two dances a month for students.
    The building has lots of booth space, a concessions area that includes a sink and refrigerator plus restroom facilities.
    During the school year, the Teen Center is open on school days from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Most of the activities are aimed for middle school students but a few are aimed at high school students as well. Some weekends the center is also open when ball tournaments are in town to provide players a place for activities when their team is not playing.
    But other than those hours of operation, the Teen Center is available for rent. Evert said the center is available for parties, family gatherings, receptions and other activities.
    But what the Teen Center would like to find is another organization that would need the facility on a frequent, regular basis to keep finances coming in so the center can continue to provide services to Pratt's teens, Evert said.
    Some of the funds were used to make improvements to the center. Money was used to purchase the booths from the 54 Diner and put in new carpet made possible though a South Central Community Foundation grant.
    Operation funds for the center comes from rent from MJ Studios on the second floor of the building, from the booster drive with the majority of support coming from businesses and, lastly, from rentals.
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