Central Park Rec Center Transitions to Juvenile Detention Facility for Summer

juvenile delinquentsThe Central Park Rec Center is one of the nicer rec centers in the Denver community. It features a very nice basketball court, a pool, a weight room, fitness rooms, and a lounge area among other things. However, the center has struggled to reach membership goals, and typically is underutilized by the Stapleton community. “We could use a lot more traffic,” said Central Park Rec Center manager Amanda Kimball. “We are never near capacity, and it would be nice to have a little more energy, plus obviously, more funding and revenue. So, we worked with the city to close that gap, at least for the summer.” The City of Denver has decided to work with the rec center in creating a juvenile detention center at the Central Park location. “We are essentially busing kids in for eight hours,” said Denver juvenile detention director Mark Beatty. “They have plenty of space there, and we can control the environment. The kids are from all over Denver, and most have a pretty troubled past. So, we decided to give them a place to hang out, supervised of course.” So far, Beatty is pleased with the results. “We just seem a lot busier now, which is great,” said busy. “Sure, some of it is kids out front smoking, or getting too close to each other in the lazy river, or even kids just sitting around for hours and watching cartoons in the lounge room. But, we have accomplished our goals of being busier.” This may be a success in the eyes of the rec center, but many Stapleton patrons are not pleased with the juveniles loitering at the rec center. “I know they’re supervised, but it doesn’t create a very appealing environment,” said Jennifer May. “It’s just uncomfortable, and really out of place. If they continue to do this, I will be going somewhere else.” Ben Lima agrees. “When I was walking up, I thought I was at the wrong place,” said Lima. “It’s pretty tacky, and I have to imagine it’s not a long-term answer in regards to memberships. Think about people walking around for a tour, and the staff person telling them they are temporarily housing juvenile delinquents. Who is going to join?” Beatty promises the delinquents will be gone by the time school starts back up again. “When school starts in September, they will all be back at their regular facilities,” said Beatty. “It is just a short time they will be here, and I don’t see any reason members and delinquents can’t co-exist.]]>

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *