By Kristin Prina
BYU Alumnus Richard Fryer is helping to bring new opportunities to Provo youth.
Fryer, who earned a masters degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership here at BYU, is the director of Provo”s new Teen Center.
“We hope it will give youth in Provo a place they can go and do something productive and hopefully even enhance their education,” Fryer said.
The center boasts gym and weightlifting facilities, a music room, game room, computer and study lab, and an art room. They also offer specialty classes at low cost such as cardio-kickboxing, pottery, karate, breakdancing, and even fly fishing.
There is a monthly activities calendar on the Teen Center Web site. Upcoming events include Movie Night July 13th, live band performances July 21st, and a basketball tournament in August.
Membership fees for the Teen Center run at $5.00 for one year or $1.50 per day, making it affordable for teenagers.
The building, located at 222 W. 500 N., was originally built as an armory for a linguistics unit of the National Guard in the 1950s. When the unit relocated, Provo City purchased the building and the plan for the Teen Center was purposed.
Doors opened for the first time in May and news of the center has spread by word of mouth. There are about one hundred and forty members between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, Fryer said.
“It”s been kind of slow right now, but it”s been growing and we have a lot of registrations still coming in,” he said.
The Teen Center operates with only five paid staff members and will rely heavily on volunteers from the community. Volunteer and internship opportunities are available for college students year round, especially those in the secondary education majors.
The center offers teens an alternative location for recreation, study, and a place to make new friends.
“I think there are a lot of youth who just need a place to go where they can feel safe and have a good time,” Fryer said.