YouthZone preps to open new home in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

YouthZone preps to open new home in Glenwood Springs

YouthZone director Lori Mueller embraces two young youthzone advocates Jessica Lee and Eli Sweeterman at the ground breaking ceremony in the new Youthzone building located at the old Glenwood Springs Library.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

For years, YouthZone has kept offices at a location in Glenwood Springs owned by the Roaring Fork School District near Glenwood Springs Elementary School.

On Thursday, the nonprofit organization that offers youth services throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County “broke ground” on what will soon become its first permanent home in Glenwood Springs.

YouthZone, which provides youth diversion and support services in conjunction with law enforcement and the courts, hosted a ground breaking event at the former Glenwood Springs Library building at Ninth and Blake. Around 50 members of the community and various dignitaries were on hand to show their support.

While the construction remodel on the new space is just beginning, YouthZone Cabinet Co-Chair Hollis Kelley said the new building will serve as a base for future generations.

The campaign to move offices and renovate the new building is projected to cost $1.7 million, of which the organization has already raised half, Kelley said.

“It’s an exciting day, we’ve been heading in this direction for a long time,” YouthZone board president Marci Pattillo said at the celebration.

She said the new home is essential in ensuring the organization’s permanence in the community.

“The goal was to have a permanent home for another 40 years,” she added.

Youthzone purchased the old library building from the city of Glenwood Springs last spring. It will provide 9,000 square feet on two floors for the organization to use, and possibly extra space to offer up on a fee basis for other organizations to use.

The construction is scheduled for completion by February 2019.

Several members of the community spoke at the ceremony about the impact YouthZone has had on their lives, including two local students, Jessica Lee and Eli Sweeterman.

Sweeterman thanked the organization for always being there for him, and Lee praised the organization for helping push kids to a better future.

“If you’re going through a hard time this is the place to be,” Lee said.

YouthZone serves over 1,000 youth and families per year from Aspen to Parachute through support services like teen and family counseling, substance use education and intervention, Restorative Justice and more.

Research shows that less than one in 10 clients reoffend during their time with YouthZone, according to the organization, compared to a state recidivism rate of more than 25 percent.

azorn@citizentelegram.com


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