Morinville – After a series of break-and-enters, the Morinville Youth Centre seems once again ready to open its doors for its intended purpose. Nick Valcourt, Morinville’s youth worker said considerable work has been done to the facility in recent weeks to give it a new lease on life.
“When I first walked into the Youth Centre I thought it had a lot of potential,” Valcourt said, adding much of the equipment in the facility was not functioning. “I thought we’d close it for now, repaint it, get some new equipment in there. I want to establish a drop-in session once or twice during the week once it’s open again.”
Valcourt said the interior of the facility has been completely repainted, and the centee was gifted a pool table by the Rendez-Vous Centre. “They gave us everything,” Valcourt said. “They gave us cues. They gave us the cue rack, balls. It’s great.”
The youth worker said he wants to acquire a dartboard or two and begin hosting pool and dart tournaments for youth. Valcourt said he pitched the idea to his Youth in Action committee and they are in favour of the idea.
Additional recent donations include a sound system that will be connected to the TV to enhance the gaming experience for those who use the facility, and some computers, donated by the Morinville Community Library, that can be used for a variety of youth interests.
Protecting the materials is something Valcourt is not prepared to fully disclose; however, he is confident security has been adequately beefed up to prevent the break-ins that plagued the Youth Centre earlier this year. “security measures have been implemented to prevent further vandalism,” Valcourt said.
Plans in place inside and outside the facility
Although drop-in sessions are tentatively planned for once or twice a week between 5 and 7 p.m., Valcourt said there is considerable interest in making the venue available again.
“In my short time being here I have heard people talking about how there is nothing for youth to do,” Valcourt said. “Really, we do have quite a few programs, and I’m trying to do my best to advertise it in the papers and [through] posters and Facebook. In both the high school and the junior high people have been asking if the Youth Centre is open. Once it’s open I think they’ll be pretty impressed.”
Valcourt said the Morinville Lions Club has spent time repairing and upgrading the exterior of the facility. Plans are in place to add a horse shoe pit and tether ball pole next year.
In addition to the work at the Youth Centre, Valcourt said a license has been established to allow for the showing of movies at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. Valcourt is planning the first to take place the end of October to coincide with Halloween.
The Community Services Department has also recently partnered with Smith Music to offer a 10-week band program at the cultural centre, allowing youth and adults an opportunity to learn to play music for a cost of $10 per week. That program kicked off Oct. 3.