DIXON – Plans to create a center for youth are progressing: Steve Wilson said there is enough interest to call a meeting on the matter.
Wilson, building manager at Loveland Community House and Museum, was inspired by a column in the Dixini, the Dixon High School student newspaper. The headline read: “Places to go and things to do – not so much.”
In that column, student Trevor Mixen wrote: “Dixon is an interesting place with so much to do and places to go. The only students that say that are usually being sarcastic.”
Wilson, with the support of Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller, decided to call on the community to start a group with the goal of raising money for a youth center or skate park.
A handful of people contacted him, showing enough interest to get the idea off the ground, he said.
The first meeting will be held Tuesday evening at the Loveland. Wilson is inviting any and all, including teenagers, to attend. An announcement is expected to run in the next Dixini.
“They need a place where they can do their thing,” Wilson said of teenagers.
In Mixen’s column, he wrote “Adults are always complaining about kids getting into trouble and having to make new rules for them, but when a teenager is trying to do something when they are bored and they have nothing to do, then they are obviously more likely to get into trouble.
“Who can say they haven’t been kicked out of Walmart for playing hide and seek?” he wrote. “We don’t need another controversial dance club or anything, but just a hang out spot for students to go to and interact with other students.”
Wilson said he doesn’t want the idea to be bogged down by any government entity.
“We need to make a board of adults and youths to get this thing going,” Wilson said. “We’ll start a 501(c)3 [nonprofit organization]. Anybody who is interested can contact me here at Loveland.”
Wilson’s dream would be to build a recreation area, cafe and indoor/outdoor skate parks, but he understands the project will depend on the amount of interest shown by the community. He has a location in mind but said it was too early in planning to share.
“All ideas are welcome.”
The first meeting to plan a youth center in Dixon will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Loveland Community House and Museum, 513 W. Second St.
Call Steve Wilson, 815-284-2741, for more information.