The Centre County Youth Service Bureau’s Bellefonte headquarters is looking for a new home.
The organization’s CEO, Andrea Boyles, said county officials have told her the Bellefonte Youth Center has to be out of the building by June 1, in time for the county to begin its exterior construction project of the Temple Court Building.
That project will combine Temple Court with the Courthouse Annex and create a new High Street entrance to the complex. The youth center can’t move back in until 2016, so Boyles is looking for a new home — either temporarily or permanently.
“I’m looking at this as potentially a permanent move,” Boyles said.
The center offers after-school to early-evening programs for youth Monday through Friday each week. Some programs include advice, such as what to do in situations when a child is offered drugs or alcohol, while others are skill-focused, such as cooking and crafts.
Boyles said a typical day might be about 20 children but that number goes up to 40 on a busier night. The center served 273 different children last year.
It occupies about 1,200 square feet, with additional storage space in the Temple Court basement. She said that amount of space meets the needs of the program.
One key for the new location will be a functioning kitchen, Boyles said. The center provides food for some of the clients and offers cooking classes.
Boyles said the priority would be a site in downtown Bellefonte, but if she was able to find a centralized location in another area, the children might be able to be transported by bus.
YSB is willing and able to pay rent, but a reduced price or free space would be helpful, Boyles said, adding that it could be a good chance for a charitable endeavor.
The program is funded through the Centre County United Way, federal grants and private donations.
Anyone with information on a possible location can contact Boyles at 237-5731 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.