Grass Valley, Calif. April 13, 2018 – The NEO Youth Center, which provides after-school activities and weekend events for youths and young adults ages 11-25, is on the verge of a major expansion at its home located at 139 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley. NEO signed the lease to the space last week and construction permits are expected soon. NEO will be remaining at their current location and taking over the entire building, which also includes a large fenced yard. The building will require a full renovation to transform the space from its use as an auto shop to a fun, welcoming teen and community center.
To make this happen, NEO is looking to the community to help make the expansion possible. “We receive no state or federal funding, and nearly all of our programs are free to all youth to attend, so we rely on the generosity of individuals, organizations, and businesses in our community,” explains Co-Founder Lynn Skrukrud, “We believe that it takes a village to ensure that our local youth are safe and healthy.”
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The expansion will enable NEO to boost its service capacity from 60 to 150 youth per day. On some days, NEO is already exceeding their capacity. “We dread having to turn away any young people, the expansion can’t come soon enough,” says Skrukrud. In 2017, NEO saw 4500 visits to its center, nearly a 200% increase from 2016. While at the center, teens can participate in a variety of diverse activities based on music, arts, health, and community service. NEO’s center will be growing from a mere 1500 square foot space to a spacious 5000 square foot facility. The expansion will allow NEO to serve more youth in a more meaningful way. “Our current space is great, but it has its limitations,” explained Skrukrud. With the expansion, NEO plans to add a dedicated study and tutoring area, a music studio, art studio, kitchen, concert venue, outdoor basketball court, garden, and a meeting and workshop room. All of this in addition to the recreation area, which includes a pool table, ping pong, foosball, video games, board games, and space to hang out and relax or social with friends.
NEO will be hosting a “Warehouse Party” to kick off their fundraising efforts for the expansion on April 21st. Community members who are interested in supporting the project are encouraged to attend this event for either lunch or dinner. To learn more about the fundraiser visit www.ncneo.org/party. NEO is also seeking volunteers to help with the project, especially contractors or individuals with construction experience. If you would like to get involved or make a donation visit www.ncneo.org or call Lynn at 530-263-7742.
NEO is a nonprofit organization that has been empowering Nevada County youth to thrive since 2008. NEO strives to help youth to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing New Events and Opportunities in a safe environment that encourages youth success and contributes to a healthier community.