SELINSGROVE--Renovations have started on a former church in Selinsgrove that was badly damaged by fire. The plan is to turn the place in Snyder County into a recreation center for teenagers.
Construction recently started inside the former Christ United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove. The building is being turned into a recreation center for teenagers called "REC," or "Regional Engagement Center."
Newswatch 16 was at the church almost two years ago after a fire badly damaged the inside of the building. Now, the director of REC hopes to breathe new life into the old building on Eighth Street.
"The whole first floor of the building is designated for just drop in, homework help, a place to go after school," Kelly Feiler said.
The rec room will have sports equipment, a library, and a cafe. Susquehanna University will provide mentors and area senior centers will provide grand-buddy programs.
"Those kids I think are just going to love this opportunity to have a place to come after school, when school is not in session, on weekends, summertime," Marvin Rudnitsky said.
Organizers say the center will be mostly run by volunteers and teens.
"They want a cafe down here where they can hold their teen nights and have dances and hold open mic nights down here on Saturdays when they don't have anywhere to go in town," Jourdan Harris said.
"Have the teens really contribute to the sustainability of the building," Feiler said.
People tell Newswatch 16 they're really excited because there is nothing like this for teens in the Selinsgrove area.
"It's great for the neighborhood. There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, kids that need a place to go," Beth Belotti said.
The rec center is being paid for through donations, fundraising campaigns, and grant money. Organizers hope to have it up and running by August, just in time for the next school year.