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BUENA PARK | Community News Focus

Teen Center Wins Additional Funds

March 04, 1997|LESLEY WRIGHT

Leaders of a new teen center at Buena Park Junior High School have won a last-minute appeal for additional funds from the city's federal block grant program.

A citizens advisory committee for months has been reviewing requests for money from the grant program, which will provide more than $1 million a year.

The final budget recently went to the City Council for approval with a note that funds are down this year and that many requests from nonprofit agencies had to be denied.

But before the vote, leaders and students who participate in Boys and Girls Club programs made a personal plea that their $15,000 request not be denied.

The teen center, which opened in a classroom at the junior high in December, has been so successful that the program needs to lease a portable building to accommodate everyone, they said.

"Many students have no place else to go," said Joan Bravo de Murillo, principal of the school. "This provides a supervised, social environment for them."

Kevin Domene, who helps run the new center, said that 45 students are cramming into the room each day and that the Boys and Girls Club expects membership to grow to 500 quickly.

Council members did some shuffling and took the $15,000 out of $388,000 budgeted for the rehabilitation of Whitaker Street.

Public Works Director Donald K. Jensen said the street project can proceed this year even with the deduction.

Mayor Arthur C. Brown said officials have to weigh what has the higher priority. "What's more important?" he asked. "Streets or kids?"

The rest of the council voted unanimously to support the teen center request.

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