OSWEGO, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow and Oswego YMCA CEO Kerrie Webb have announced that the grand opening of the new YMCA Youth Center and Skate Park in Oswego will take place in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 24.
The celebration will be an open house to the public from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon.
The Oswego Youth Center and Skate Park was paid for by the City of Oswego and are operated by the Oswego YMCA. The center and skate park will be open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. for children ranging from 8-19 years old.
Inside the youth center, there is a study room with computers, a game room, a media room, an art room and a full kitchen. The Center also provides free programs such as tutoring, cooking, arts and crafts and more. Webb said it is important that teens have access to a safe space that promotes socialization, independence and responsibility.
“To allow them to have that voice through art, or through conversation in a safe place, is extremely important,” Webb said. “Because they are our youth, and it is our youth that’s going to change how we function today and make it better tomorrow.”
The open house will have an assortment of socially distanced tours and kids activities on top of live music from international recording artist Adrian Patrick from the rock group Otherwise. Face masks and social distancing will be required to attend the event.
“We want them to walk through, we want them to see the different rooms, the different programs, the different activities,” Webb said. “We want them to see that it is very a safe environment, the staff there, and that they’re going to be overseen and taken care of while they’re with us.”
In 2019, Barlow and Webb decided to relocate the Youth Center from the Ponzi Recreation Center at Fort Ontario to a new and improved space at the former Grace Evangelical Church on East Sixth Street.
“The city of Oswego is proud to partner with Kerrie Webb and the Oswego YMCA to offer such a great space in our community, and moving forward, we’ll continue to invest and protect our children by giving them the resources and security they need,” Barlow said. “The new Oswego Youth Center will play a positive role in many children’s lives in our community for many years to come.”
Several community organizations, including North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Local-277 and Universal Metal Works, helped relocate and build the Youth Center.
in addition to the $110,000 in funding from the City of Oswego.