Friday, September 28, 2001

English Woods center opens as teen hangout

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Teens in English Woods, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, have a new haven.

        A teen center opened Thursday at 18 Heath Court, a few blocks from the English Woods Community Center on Sutter Avenue. It will have several computers, video games and a lounge area.

[photo] Three apartments have been converted into space for a teen center in English Woods, a housing complex in North Fairmount. It was opened by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        Some teens celebrated the grand opening with a rap contest, ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the new center, which used to be three public-housing apartments.

        “It's a safe, comfortable place for young people to gather. We're just trying to bring kids in. It sure beats hanging out on the street corner, which is what this is all about,” said Mike Thomas, supervising recreation coordinator for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

        The city agency has 29 community centers. Most already have areas for teens.

        The commission was able to provide one in English Woods after the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority donated the space.

        Dorothy Terry, president of the English Woods Community Council, appreciates what the new center could do for the neighborhood's teens.

        “It looks nice, with nice furniture and everything. I'm just waiting to see how things will turn out,” she said.

        “There's not hardly any place you can go if you want to hang out.”

        The commission aims to have teen centers associated with all its community centers by 2003.

        Teen centers will open in Avondale, North Avondale and Over-the-Rhine by the end of the year.

        The College Hill and Madisonville community centers will open teen facilities next year.

        Opening each teen center has cost the commission $20,000 to $50,000.

        The centers are open Mondays through Fridays. They open as early as 6 a.m. and close as late as midnight.


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