Groundbreaking for new YouthZone facility Thursday

Staff report

YouthZone is set to begin remodeling the old Glenwood Springs library building at the corner of Ninth and Blake, which will become the youth services agency’s new Glenwood headquarters.

To celebrate, the public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at noon Thursday.

YouthZone is a nonprofit organization that provides youth diversion and advocacy services to communities in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

One of YouthZone’s main offices has been located at 803 School St. in Glenwood Springs for the last 30 years, and is owned by the school district. The city and the Roaring Fork School District entered into an agreement to trade the land where YouthZone is currently housed for property south of Glenwood Springs Elementary School, which was used for the school expansion and renovation.

The current YouthZone site and property fronting School Street is being planned for future redevelopment as part of the confluence-area master plan.

YouthZone purchased the old library building from the city in the spring of 2018. The building offers 9,000 square feet on two floors.

D.M. Neuman Construction of Glenwood Springs is doing the renovation work. The construction is scheduled for completion in February 2019.

Speaking at the Thursday event will be Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, YouthZone board President Marci Pattillo, Capital Campaign Co-Chair Hollis Kelley and two youths who will tell their stories.

A reception with a light lunch and tours will follow.

According to a news release, YouthZone serves over 1,000 youths and families per year from Aspen to Parachute through evidence-based assessment and programming customized to meet youths’ individual needs, including teen and family counseling, substance use education and intervention, Restorative Justice and mentoring.

“Research shows that less than one in 10 clients reoffend during their time with YouthZone, compared to a state recidivism rate of more than 25 percent,” according to the release. “Additionally, 6 months of dedicated YouthZone services costs about $1,500, whereas remanding a youth offender to a youth facility for six months costs about $60,000, nearly 40 times more.”

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