Designing Youth Center Buildings

What happens when a child is too old for afterschool programs, but not quite old enough to stay home alone? That’s where youth centers come in.

As we all know, youth centers offer a variety of activities and special programs that provide kids between the ages of 11 and 18 with wonderful opportunities to develop physical, emotional, social, and cognitive abilities through organized activities. Furthermore, the National Collaboration for Youth shares that youth center-sponsored activities can help improve grades, reduce the instances of school suspension, and reduce the risk of substance abuse. The American Foundation for Youth shares that participation in youth centers can also “encourage teens to reach higher in planning their futures.”

youth playing basketball at teen centerTo achieve a center that offers such benefits to your community, it’s important to consider design strategies that will enhance the opportunities available to the youth. Most youth center buildings are designed with a few larger rooms that can be used for various large group activities or as a common area, and some even have a gym for organized sports like basketball. Smaller rooms can be designated for homework, specialized classes, or as a computer lab. If the space is available, an outdoor activity area can also be included in the plans.

When designing your youth center, it is important to consider the risks any special features might pose. For example, an outdoor playing field should be level so that the risk of a trip and/or injury is reduced. If your center includes a swimming pool, it should be staffed appropriately with certified lifeguards.

Your youth center’s assumed risks will help determine what type of insurance you should purchase. At the very least, a youth center building will need general liability and building and hazard insurance. The article “How to Start a Youth Center” also recommends checking with local authorities to see if there are other insurance requirements you will need to consider purchasing.

Are you currently shopping for insurance for your youth center? Contact Lamb Financial Group for more information on our nonprofit insurance options for nonprofits.

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