Dundee Youth Center closes its doors
DUNDEE--After 20 years of operation, the Dundee Area Youth Center officially closed Friday, April 15. The Dundee Area Youth Center has been open since 1996, but due to a lack of funding, the organization -- located at 15 Main St. in downtown Dundee -- will no longer offer free programming to area youth. The center was formerly open to youth living in the Dundee Central School District in grades seven through 12, operating Monday through Friday.
"[This is] due to a lack of funding, reduced numbers and youth participation," Executive Director Beth Taylor said. "This was a difficult but realistic decision made by the board of directors at Monday nights, [April 11] meeting. For now, the Roy Wood Community Room will remain open to those groups using it."
Dundee Village Trustee Judy Duquette announced news of the closure to the village board at their Tuesday, April 12, meeting. She also attributed one of the reasons for closure was due to diminishing class sizes leading to less youth utilizing the center. Duquette added the youth center will honor their remaining contract agreements until around June 30, adding the youth side of things is done.
"Everything, probably by the end of June, will be done there," Duquette said. "[...] I believe the contents will be sold to offset some of the costs from outstanding bills that need to be paid and things like that."
Taylor previously said it cost $72,000 a year to keep the Dundee Youth Center operating, with Taylor noting insurance was a large part of their budget. There were two part-time paid positions, with Taylor as executive director along with a program aide. The building also needed a roof replacement.
Taylor noted the center's attendance numbers often depended on what was happening at the school. She said the different sports seasons and school musical often had an impact on the number of kids who attended.
"We [could] have one [child] to 15 or 20," Taylor said. "We [were] a drop in center. Many came to grab a bit to eat and leave. That's OK too. We served a need that they had."
Prior to closing, Taylor was attempting to change the mentality of residents to show them what the youth center stood for in order to foster more community involvement. She said the center was meant to support all youth, adding it didn't matter if they were rich or poor.