Manistee Battle Ground Turned Youth Fun Zone - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Manistee Battle Ground Turned Youth Fun Zone

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In 1956 The Manistee Armory was built for the National Guard.

Today the building will serve the community in a new way.

The 12th Street Youth Foundation has bought the building to be their new youth center.

Originally they were hoping to build the center, but when the Armory went up for auction it was an answer to their prayers.

“You know for several years we've been trying to raise money to build that new building and then when this became available for a fraction of that price we just knew that this is God's will this is where he'll have us,” says President of the 12th Street Youth Project Board, Kevin Schmutzler.

The buildings size and location are ideal for the center and the board has big plans for potential tutoring and programs in the building.

“Some of the big things are an after school tutoring program free for kids, gym time so activities in here we're hoping our local youth groups from our churches would want to use our facility and high schools,” says Kevin.

However the building is not quite ready for students just yet. It still needs maintenance on things like the bathrooms, the fire suppression system, and making the building more handicap accessible so all kids can come and enjoy it.

We asked Owner of Lake Shore Construction Gary Buren who is working on the building what needs work and he told us, “Just making sure that the drinking fountains, bathrooms, counter heights, all those things that back in 1956 weren't as much of a concern now. We have strict requirements for what those need to be and we're gonna bring all those in line with current code.”

When all this construction is finally done Youth Center student and board member Joshua Robles says they have big plans for this place;

“I'm hoping for helping people the youth come here and have them actually come here not just people who are affiliated with the youth but all people come here and that it'll turn into a place where people can just get together, make new friends, have fun in the summer.”

The 12th Street Youth Foundation hopes to open its doors this June, but they're still raising money to pay for the construction.

To donate and help them open their doors to the youth click here.