Youth center resumes full operation Sept. 10

 Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Roger Cain, director of the Madison Area Youth Center in London, racks up pool balls in one of the activity rooms that once contained mold and asbestos. The center is now mold- and asbestos-free, has a new roof, and is heated and cooled throughout its first and second floors.

Eighteen months ago, the Madison Area Youth Center (also known as The Armory) closed its doors to make major renovations. Now that the work is done, the Armory is ready to return to full operation.

Opening day is Sept. 10. The after-school drop-in service will resume each school day from 2 to 5 p.m. Structured classes for children and adults will start again that day, too.

“It’s good that we can open it for the kids again,” said Roger Call, director of the Armory, located at 15 E. Second St. in London.

Improvements to the structure include a new roof, removal of asbestos and mold, removal of plaster in the gymnasium, and new paint everywhere. The last projects to be finished are installation of a new heating and air conditioning system in the gym and electrical upgrades throughout the building. Delivery of a new freezer for the kitchen was scheduled for last week.

While the work was being done, the Armory discontinued its after-school drop-in service, but continued to hold classes in part of the center and at First Baptist Church. Now, all activities will be held in the Armory with the exception of two exercise classes slated to take place in West Jefferson.

The drop-in service and “Thursday Thunder,” weekly Christian activities for teens, are free. To get the word out about the after-school drop-in center, Cain said he distributed flyers to the schools and will make phone calls to school leaders this week.

Open registration for the Armory’s structured classes will take place between 5 and 8 p.m. on Sept. 5-6. Each of the classes requires a one-time registration fee of $10 per person and monthly fees of $35 for one participant, $55 for two participants, or $75 for three participants. Fees are non-refundable once the programs start. The offerings are:

• Ballet—5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays

• Self defense—5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Thursdays

• Gymnastics—Monday classes are 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for 5- and 6-year-olds; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., also for 5- and 6-year-olds; 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. for 6- to 9-year-olds. Tuesday classes are 5:30 to 6:10 p.m. for 3- and 4-year-olds; 6:15 to 6:55 p.m., also for 3- and 4-year-olds; and 7 to 8 p.m. for 6- to 9-year-olds. Wednesday classes are 5:30 to 6:10 p.m. for 2- and 3-year-olds accompanied by a parent; 6:15 to 6:55 p.m. for 3- and 4-year-olds; and 7 to 7:40 p.m. for other age groups.

• Bodies in Motion (exercise class for women)—5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Armory. These classes also are offered from 6:15 to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Zion Lutheran Church in West Jefferson.

“The karate class (self defense) is new. The person who teaches it is an instructor at the Peace Officers Training Academy,” Cain said.

For more information on programs, call the Armory at 740-852-1595.

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