By ERWIN CHLANDA
The proponent for a 24/7 youth centre, Steve Brown, says a key issue for the public meeting discussing it on Thursday next week will be to canvass suggestions for a location.
He says “without preempting a decision”that “by far the most suitable” building would be the old Memorial Club (pictured) in Gap Road.
“It is close enough to the CBD for our purposes, as I see it,” says Mr Brown.
The complex, apparently currently unused, has both internal and external spaces that could be used for youth activities, plus a kitchen and a dining room.
The building is owned by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress which is reportedly planning to turn it into a medical facility and staff car parking. Congress has recently set up several clinics around town.
Congress is already active with young people as a partner with the Town Council in a bus service transporting youths home at night. The Alice Springs News Online is seeking comment.
Mr Brown, again stressing he his is expressing his own opinion and the meeting may have different views, doubts that the old police station, currently empty, is suitable, because it has many “poky rooms and hardly any open spaces” and would need to be bulldozed and re-built.
He says a facility is needed immediately.
The old Anzac Highschool has been suggested but it is subject to government plans and the active support from the government is essential for the youth centre plans.
“This should not become a political issue,” Mr Brown says.
In any case, the building’s location is completely unsuitable, being in a “dark corner of the town”.
Mr Brown says the proposed youth centre would be for all young people, irrespective of their race.
The meeting on Thursday next week will seek to form a management committee, says Mr Brown, who is promoting the project together with Wayne Thompson, the manager of a local coach company.