Pro Access Officially Opens in Temporary Home
Pro Access Officially Opens in Temporary Home ~ By Wendy Mitchell
For Pro Access Director Hilda DeLucia and Assistant Director Claudia Fortunato the years of waiting for their new (temporary) space was well worth it. The pair greeted volunteers, teens, parents and well-wishers at Pro Access’ Open House Wednesday.
It has been years since their previous teen center was closed due to asbestos in the building. Since then they have been operating out of store fronts and restaurants of cooperative and hospitable downtown businesses such as Famous Pizza, Jacqueline’s and Classic Nails. Plans to build a new teen center off the annex of the gym in the Municipal Center have been discussed. Until then they are happy to have a place to call their own.
They officially opened the new space in the lower level of the Municipal Center on Wednesday, June 15 and had a volunteer recognition ceremony at 5:00p.m. to thank all the generous people who donated time and funds. A plaque hangs on the wall in the front of the teen center with the names of all those who gave.
The new space has a lounge area with a pool table, a foosball table, comfortable couches and a large TV. The computer room has a Mac and a PC, donated by the Bethel Education Foundation. The front entrance area has a huge chalk board to work out math problem or just tag with graffiti and tables to do homework. There is a painted on white board int he computer room as well. Colorful handprints of volunteers line the walls of the restroom, adding a personal touch to the space.
Teens used the new center last Saturday evening as part of the “Community Chest” team for Relay For Life.
The hours are not yet official for the summer and fall, DeLucia said, but would be finalizing that in the near future.
Pro Access member Shannon Bradley said the new space is “magnificent” and especially enjoys the lounge because it is “a chill place to hang and sit around and do whatever you want.”
Gabriella Fortunato said she also likes the lounge area and that the entire new space is “fabulous.”
Pro Access is hoping to raise enough finds to add a stove to their new kitchen but for now they are all happy to finally be in their new home.