As stated by OHS junior Jen Stanton, a regular at the Teen Center, “The Teen Center is a hub for creativity, learning, and socializing, and the best part was that it was open to me: all I had to do was walk in.”
Although I don’t know him very well, I am very familiar with Ian Austin, as he has been a large figure in the community for his work at the Teen Center. The time and passion he has dedicated toward the kids at the Center is admirable, and deserves a lot of respect.
Michelle Sason, an OHS graduate, worked with Austin to re-vamp the Teen Center, and said, “Someone like Ian Austin is an amazing mentor, friend and ally, and I want more kids to be able to experience his unbelievable support.”
While I was away at school this semester, I would see events at the Theatre and Teen Center on Facebook pop up, such as late night movie showings, and wish that I were in town to be able to go to them. I was very grateful to be going home a few weeks ago to attend two big events at the Theatre: Start Making Sense, a tribute to the Talking Heads, and a Jimkata concert, a band which is a local favorite.
So imagine my surprise when I read the news the week before I went back to Oneonta for the concerts that both the Theatre and the Teen Center would be closing within the month.
At first I was confused — it had seemed that both locations had been doing a lot to provide entertainment and a good time to the community members old and young. But then I just became upset: I had genuinely enjoyed spending time with my friends and other Oneontans in the positive space of the hip Teen Center and friendly Theatre.