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Interchanges 71 opens Friday

By Staff | Jun 17, 2010

“Interchange 71” a New Youth Center in Estherville to Have Grand Opening This Friday

Estherville has a new youth center called “Interchange 71” that is opening this Friday at 7 p.m. at the southeast corner of North Seventh Street and First Avenue North . All teens of the community are invited to come and meet their friends in a venue that is designed specifically with them in mind.

Grand opening usually means one thing, a new business is opening its doors with a “bang” for the first time! However, this grand opening has a greater vision than just opening its doors and hopefully a deeper impact than just being new. When Estherville’s first youth center opens this Friday night at 7 p.m. it will do more than just open its doors to teens of this community, it will make history. “Interchange 71” is a youth center with a vision to bring teens together in a safe, chemical-free, faith based environment.

Why is called “Interchange 71?” Usually an interchange is a road that connects two adjacent roads together, creating an opportunity for cars to travel in a different direction. Teens are traveling on a path called “life.”

Many of them are looking for an opportunity to make the right decisions without having to sacrifice things like good friends and fun. Interchange 71 will give them a chance to change direction, and go the right way with others who want to do the same. Why 71?

It is located at the corner of two roads that cross one another, North Seventh Street and First Avenue. High school senior, Nathan Jensen, attended the special Interchange 71 youth center “Preview” night on May 21.

“There is a lot of stuff to do there and it is a great way to spend time on a night you’re looking for something to do”, said Jensen.

What makes it even “cooler” than that? Admission is always free and fresh “theatre” style popcorn is served daily without charge.

Interchange 71 will be open on Fridays 7-9 p.m. for 7th and 8th grades and 9:30-11:30 p.m. for 9th to 12th grades. It will also be open Sundays for 7-12 grades from 6-7 p.m. and then 8-10 p.m. Those running the center say they have a vision to expand the hours of operation to Saturday nights and possibly day hours in the summer. They also want to remind parents that it will be well staffed by trained volunteers who have completed background checks and provided local references.

What will teens do while spending time with their friends at Interchange 71? There are huge flat screen TV’s, foosball tables, ping pong, Xbox 360, Wii, “street” basketball court, movies, full snack bar with energy drinks, gourmet coffee, and even cotton candy. The youth center will also be featuring theme nights and sponsoring local concerts.

Many people wonder how this new youth center was funded. Without individuals from the community who donated their time and money along with local church support, it would not have been possible.

For more information about Estherville’s new youth center “Interchange 71” go to mycalvarygospel.com or call 362-3297. All donations are tax deductable and individuals who would like to volunteer are encouraged to submit an application. Interchange 71 is sponsored by Calvary Gospel Assembly and is open to all teens of the community.