Site found for new youth centre in Timaru
Timaru youth could be enjoying a brand new youth centre by the start of spring, organisers say.
A site for the new youth centre is expected to be signed off as soon as next month, although its exact location remains a closely-guarded secret.
The possibility of starting a youth centre has long been discussed in Timaru, but has never managed to get off the ground.
That seems set to change, with the project's spokesman confirming a verbal agreement to lease a site near Timaru's CBD has been reached.
Solomon Tor-Kilsen, who has been spear-heading the project, said the youth centre could be at least partially opened by the start of spring.
He was unable to disclose the exact location of the site, as the lease would not be officially signed until May.
It would be located about 5 kilometres from Timaru's CBD, he said.
Plans for the facility were being drawn up, but would include both indoor and outdoor paintball facilities, a graffiti wall, and a coffee shop.
Funding for the project had proved to be a barrier in the past. The organising committee was hoping to get around that by setting up a legal entity that members of the community could invest in, Tor-Kilsen said.
"Everyone in Timaru can be a part of it."
A crowd funding campaign would also be launched in May.
"The big thing around setting up this youth centre is having it self-sustaining," he said.
"We don't want to go to all this effort and lose it when people stop giving money."
Two public meetings about the youth centre had already been held, and a third was due to take place on Wednesday night.
A group of eight members have been working on the proposal for months, discussing possible options with local businesses and organisations, and gauging interest from the public.
They conducted a six-week survey late last year to find out what under-30s thought Timaru was lacking.
Among the wide range of results were calls for band venues, laser tag, a parkour course, and a food court.