OWEGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Teenagers in Owego are about to have a new, safe and nurturing place to hang out at after school.
The Tioga County Boys and Girls Club held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a 1,000 square foot addition to the facility for a teen center.
The space will include ping pong, a pool table and electronic games for school-aged kids, primarily 13 to 17.
The project is expected to cost $227,000.
The club says local businessman Adam Weitsman made the expansion possible with a $100,000 donation.
Weitsman says he has fond memories of attending the club when he was a kid.
“My grandfather was really passionate about the Boys Club as is my father so I’m really just doing this to keep their legacy going of what they believed in in the area. I still live local and my family lives local. These walls are really important to the future of so many of the kids.”
The remaining funds are coming from various local foundations and businesses and some contractors are donating some in-kind services.
CEO Jill Teeter says the club already has a dedicated space for kids ages 5 to 12 but not the 33 teens who are currently members.
“They really haven’t had their own space. For the ones that are really into sports and the fitness center or the gym, it’s great. But for the other teens, we really didn’t have a whole lot.”
With the addition of the center, the club plans to expand its hours for teens until 9 p.m. on school nights and possibly later on Fridays.
Teeter says the hope is to have it completed by the fall.