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Teen center idea expands to include community facility

by Merrie Leininger

The planning organization for a teen center decided Monday night to include other groups and changed their mission to bring a community center to the Carson Valley.

Claudia Bertolone-Smith, a 4th grade teacher at C.C. Meneley Elementary School, said the group’s first meeting two weeks ago came about after talking with Kelli Taylor of the Juvenile Probation Department.

“We both grew up here and it was a need here then. After growing up and coming back, we still feel it is a need here. It will be a good thing to serve our kids,” Bertolone-Smith said. “A lot of people are saying this is the time – we need to do this.”

Bob Koreski, youth development coordinator of the Gardnerville Nevada Cooperative Extension office, directed the 15 people at the meeting to come up with the most important goals.

Those goals were then assigned to five committees and the group members volunteered to be assigned to the steering committee, location committee, operations committee, funding committee or public relations committee.

The group charged the steering committee first with creating a timeline and goals for the project and the operations committee for coming up with space needs and a building design.

Sgt. Stan Lamb of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said many other groups in the community have been working separately to bring a teen center or a community center to the Valley.

n Keep the focus. “This is something that is needed, but the bottom line is it is too confusing with all these other groups doing different things. We need to get other people into the fold,” he said.

DHS teacher Randy Green said there is a danger of getting too many people involved.

“There are certain people in the community who can get things done, so we have to target them,” he said.

The group decided to meet again 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the recreation annex building on Waterloo Lane, Koreski said.

The group will discuss its plans to visit two Sacramento youth and community centers March 19 and also discuss visiting centers in Reno and Carson City.

“It’s still really in its initial stages. We have a lot of interest in a lot of different areas of the community, but we are slow to come up with a shared vision. We want to come up with something not geared just towards teens or just for seniors. We want anyone in the community who is interested to get involved,” Koreski said.