Plans for the Center of the Mark ministries youth center have changed in recent weeks.
In April, the group hosted a charity dinner for “The Youth Center” in order to raise money to renovate a space in Logan Plaza Shopping Center on 9th Street, between the Tractor Supply Company and Goodies.
Money was raised and grants were applied for, but when one grant came back – the response wasn’t what the group was expecting.
“The letter told us that they would not give us any money to lease a space for the Youth Center,” said Steve Matthews, a member of the Center of the Mark board and a retired pastor. “But they did say that we could get a $225,000 matching grant in order to build a new building.”
And so, that is what the group is looking at doing. In order to get the $250,000 grant, Center of the Mark will have to come up with at least that much money – and/or in-kind gifts.
“If someone wants to donate five acres of land to us to build the Youth Center – the value of that land counts toward the $250,000 we would have to raise,” Matthews said.
Matthews added that the group is hopeful that they will secure land for the new building in the near future.
“We want this to be in a central location, hopefully inside the Russellville Bypass,” he said. “When this is finished, we will be able to offer so much to our young people.”
When it opens, it will be free for any middle or high school aged children in Logan County. There will be a pool table, ping pong table, foosball table, snack bar and giant big screen television – as well as a walled-off area for archery shooting.
The new plans for building a new facility will also include an open amphitheater for concerts.
For the past eight years, Center of the Mark ministries has worked with Logan County’s youth by hosting a summer camp and various outdoor activities on weekends throughout the year.
Initially, the project was expected to cost a little over $100,000 – with $46,000 to be spent on renovating the space in the shopping center and $56,000 going toward equipment costs.
“Our young people in the community need a place to come and hang out after school – but it has to be a safe place,” Matthews said.
Center of the Mark is an interdenominational Christian organization and letting young people know about the story of Jesus will also be a central part of the mission at The Youth Center, but that is as far as it will go.
Several area businesses and churches are already on board with The Youth Center and have already pledged financial help.
“I have heard from so many people that want to get behind this,” Matthews said. “When the time is right for an idea, God will open the door – you don’t have to kick it open. And the time is right for this.”
To get more information about the Youth Center, 270-847-9763 or 270-743-9702.