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Santa Fe Opens Long-Awaited Teen Center

Teens check out the gymnasium at the new Santa Fe Teen Cent
Kevin Meerschaert
Teens check out the gymnasium at the new Santa Fe Teen Center.

After over a decade of planning Santa Fe cut the ribbon Friday on the new Teen Centeron the city’s southside.

The center is across the street from the Southside Library and 17-thousand square foot facility includes a gymnasium, meeting places and games including ping pong, foosball and air hockey.

A large group of children and their families joined local officials to open the center, with free pizza and snacks.

Teens were a vital part of designing the center including what kind of activities that are being planned at the location.

Mayor Allen Webber told the teens to make the center their own.

“Take it over, make it yours, own it,” he said. “It’s only a building unless you bring it to life. It’s only a building unless you occupy it. It’s only a building unless you take responsibility for it. Keep it special, keep it beautiful, keep it safe for all the teens in our community.”     

It cost about $10 million to build the center, with $7 million coming from the state. 

Along with the gym and spaces for games and performances, the center includes a washer, dryer, pantry and kitchen. 

The opening ceremony included a Dance Performance by New Mexico School for the Arts, an Aztec Danza and Blessing, a live DJ  and a screening of the movie “Pitch Perfect.”    

Information from the 2015 and 2017 City of Santa Fe Youth Summits and a 2019 study conducted by the non-profit organization Earth Care provided youth-led input and data that paved the way to funding and developing the Center. 

The center will be open from 4pm to 8pm Tuesday through Friday and noon to 6pm on Saturday. 

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