By Chris Trout
The plans for the Idyllwild Community Center, including the 6,000-square-foot Butterfield Family Center, the amphitheatre, the park and sculpture garden, and all of the parking areas and access roads are in the final stages of development.
It is now time to get some feedback from Idyllwild folks who will be using this vibrant and accessible space for recreational, cultural and social activities.
The San Jacinto Mountain Community Center board wants to make sure that the quality of life of every resident will be enriched by a combination of small town friendliness and urban conveniences and amenties.
The focus, this week, is on the young people in our community. According to chairperson, Janice Lyle, “The ICC is being built to meet the needs of the entire community … all age groups. Since those of us on the board may have difficulty remembering our teenage years, we firmly believe that current teens should advise us on their vision for a meaningful center.”
Based on suggestions from the SJMCC board members and former Idyllwild School teachers, three local teens were asked about their ideas for the community center.
Our first featured teen, Yasmin Morales, an 8th grader at Idyllwild School, told us: “We already use the ICC site because it is easy to get to and doesn’t require a car. It is our gathering place, for doing homework, playing games and just hanging out together.”
Her vision for the teen center would include a quiet area for doing homework, using laptops and tablets, and creating art. It would also have an area for arcade games, music, and conversation. Jasmine envisions bright vibrant colors, unstructured furniture, and access to the outside.
In her view, teens are expressive and the space needs to reflect an understanding of that youthful exuberance.
For Idyllwild high school students, there is an uncustomary reality. They spend most of their day, sometimes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., off the Hill in Hemet.
By the time they are juniors and seniors, according to Alex Sanborn, a senior at Hemet High School, their social life is centered in Hemet. And if they have access to a car, their weekends include part-time jobs to pay for the car and trips down the Hill to participate in activities with friends.
“We have a place at a friend’s where we hang out. It’s called the Barn. It has big couches, a ping pong table, a flat screen for movie and video games and plenty of food,” Alex told us. His suggestion was to transfer the Barn concept to the ICC.
He assured us that teens can be good organizers of activities and events because they are creative and imaginative and will devote the time and effort necessary to make programs happen.
Christian Sabin, gave us another take on what a teen center might mean for our community. He has chosen a home school program and is a 16-year-old sophomore.
He came to our meeting with a thoughtful list of ideas for the facility and how it would benefit others like himself. He also came ready to volunteer to help build the center because he enjoyed cutting planks and setting up beams for the Idyllwild Playground.
In addition, to the requisite technology for studying and playing games and even job hunting, Christian suggested special classes on software such as Photoshop. He has taught himself visual basic so that he can begin programming his own games and he thought that ongoing competitive gaming activities using video technology would be something many would enjoy.
While quiet space is essential, Christian’s idea is to have music booths so that teens can bring their own instruments to play or music devices like iPods to listen to in a sound proof environment. He loves the beauty of the site and what he calls the freshness of it, especially the views.
In future columns, we will present ideas from other groups in our community such as Parents...the 30’s and 40’s group, seniors...the 50’s, 60’s and up group and business owners.
To share your ideas, questions and inquiries, contact chris@idyllwildcommunity
center.org. We look forward to having the opportunity to chat with you.