Armory Center Aims to Give Teens Their Own Space

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Edgewater teens will take over the Broadway Armory Friday night, officially opening a new teen center that has been two years in the making.

A ribbon cutting will be followed by a variety of activities, including roller skating, rock climbing and trapeze swinging. It takes place Friday, March 29, at the armory, 5917 N. Broadway.

PC Gooden-Smiley, 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman’s assistant for youth initiatives, said she hopes the teen center will be a place where “older teens” can have fun, and explore their creativity.

“We are going to allow them to be here, but there definitely going to be staff sort of overseeing it,” she said, describing the administration as “soft supervision,” aimed at allowing kids to direct their own activities, while making sure there is no trouble.

P.C. Gooden-Smiley

Gooden-Smiley said she also hopes the center will host artistic events, including open mic nights in the style of those at the Harold Washington Public Library, where Chance the Rapper got his start.

The design of the teen center was created by students from Columbia College, then tailored to fit the park district budget.

A large, blank white wall will soon be home to a wall mural, with artwork from Senn High School Arts posted in the meantime, Gooden-Smiley said.

The Center feature chairs and tables, as well as a table tennis table, and a flat-screen TV with a gaming console.

The new teen center at the Broadway armory in Edgewater.

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