Youth Centre has "a place to call home"

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September 15, 2015 8:15 AM

Josef Jacobson Photo Lloydminster Community Youth Centre (LCYC) board chairman Les Hanson thanked the city for formally handing ownership of the old RCMP detachment to the LCYC on Sept. 10. From left, LCYC executive director Lois Butts, Mayor Rob Saunders and Hanson.

The Lloydminster Community Youth Centre (LCYC) has officially been handed the keys to its new home, the former RCMP detachment building on 47 Avenue south of 44 Street.

At a presentation at the new location on Sept. 10, Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders signed off on the final documentation needed to hand ownership of the site, estimated by the city to be valued at $2 million, to the LCYC at the symbolic cost of $1.

“The Lloydminster Community Youth Centre serves a vital role in our community by providing programs, activities and social opportunity for our youth,” Saunders said.

“As a city we are very fortunate to have such an incredible group of people committed to the well-being of our children and young adults. The positive impacts of this organization in our community cannot be overstated, which is why we are so pleased to play a part in finding them a new place to call home.”

City council approved the sale of the building on March 23, but there were still procedures to be followed before the final terms of the sale could be finalized. As part of the agreement, if the LCYC decides it no longer wants the property the city may buy it back for $1 plus the cost of any improvements. This condition expires 65 years after the date of sale of the property.

The LCYC had been operating out of the second floor of St. John’s Anglican Church, but it outgrew its space. The LCYC averages around 6,000 to 7,000 youth visits each year, and during any given night 60 children could come through the building.

“We moved in there a half-dozen years ago as a temporary facility and we’ve been cramming in there ever since,” LYCY board chairman Les Hanson said.

“They’ve been very good, but the reality is we’ve got more kids than we’ve got space right now and as the city grows we’re going to need more and more space. (The new location) is just a vital spot and it’s such a warm, inviting and positive environment for these kids so we can’t wait to get the paint on the walls and the carpet out and the new flooring in.”

Even though the building is now in the LCYC’s hands, renovations will have to be completed before the new tenants can move in. Hanson says he plans to remove the jail cells and build a new kitchen and gymnasium. He says in an ideal world the LCYC would be able to move in by the end of the year.

With six times as much space as it had before, the LCYC is also hoping to rent out excess room to other tenants. Hanson says this would make the LCYC self-sufficient and able to focus its fundraising dollars on running youth programs. He says the LCYC hopes to operate out of the new building for the next 20 to 30 years.

“What makes it appealing to us is we’ve got a place to call home and it’ll always be home and now we just have to make it a home,” he said.

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