The new St. George Family Youth Center, under construction since November, celebrated its grand opening Tuesday at Estero Park in Isla Vista with supporters, program alumni, and eponymous developer Ed St. George in attendance.
The new 3,200-square-foot building — donated by local developer and philanthropist Ed St. George of St. George & Associates property management firm — replaces the Isla Vista Teen Center, which had operated out of portable classrooms at Estero Park since 1999. In 2002, the YMCA’s Youth and Family Services branch of the Channel Islands YMCA took ownership of the Isla Vista Teen Center, the only teen-serving program in Isla Vista. Four years ago, while building the Campus 880 apartment complex across the street, Ed St. George offered to fund a new teen center facility, as The Santa Barbara Independent previously reported.
The new center offers after-school homework help and leadership and recreational activities to 6th- to 12th- grade youth who otherwise might not have the opportunity to have access to a computer and printer, take field trips, gain leadership skills, and hang out in a substance free environment.
The St. George Family Youth Center, which also offers service especially for bicultural and bilingual families, is open from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with varying hours on Friday, and membership costs $40.