Payson Community Kids started construction on a new activity center in late September and hope to have a completed building by the first of the year. Juan Lopez smooths the cement at the Payson Community Kids Center, while his fellow workers, Lamberto Villa, left, and Arnold Tsosie, clean their tools as they prepare to help cure the cement in the center of the slab.
Photo by Andy Towle.
The concrete has cured and the walls will soon be framed on Payson Community Kids’ long-awaited new space.
Construction started Sept. 15 after a few unexpected permit and construction modifications nearly threw the whole project off track.
After shelling out an unanticipated $5,000 for a sewer permit, Payson Community Kids (PCK) officials still need to raise more than $10,000 to cover paving the end of Tonto Street.
However, with enrollment numbers growing every month, officials say they had to move forward on the center that will be used for an after-school program.
“It has been very difficult to get things going,” said PCK Board President Suzy Tubbs. “We had the money raised 10 months ago and the plans, drainage and engineering, but a few speed bumps we did not anticipate held up our goal, however, our dreams are finally on their way.”
Volunteer construction workers are doing most of the work for free with PCK covering supply costs.
On Monday, Vinrose Corporation began framing with Larry Gay Excavating and Mark Taylor and his crew pouring concrete last week. Jim Leubner is acting project manager.
Marcy Rogers started PCK 15 years ago to give “at risk” children a place to go after school. Rogers initially housed the program in her home, but when she passed, the program moved to a small, nearby building. Only able to hold a small number inside, most times children worked outside.
Since Dec. 2, 2010, the program has worked out of the First Southern Baptist Church due to space concerns.
The new, 1,054-square-foot building is little more than a garage with bathrooms, but will be welcomed room next to the existing building off Tonto Street, Tubbs said.
Right now, the program offers 104 children a place to hang out and get help every Thursday. Tubbs would like to see it expand to several days a week.
“With the new building we can go to two days a week,” she said, “and inch up from there to five days a week.”
Currently on Thursdays, children get dinner and work on homework and community service projects.
PCK also provides clothing, medical care, food and school supplies to those who need it.
“This program helps keep these children off the street and gives them a place of hope and care that they may not otherwise get from home,” she said.
Stubbs hopes to see construction wrap up by Dec. 1.
PCK is always recruiting new volunteers with volunteer coordinator Jamie Shreiner holding monthly volunteer meetings.
In October, PCK is hosting two fund-raising events.
The first is Oct. 15 at the Spur Bar in Star Valley, 3964 E. Highway 260. Called the Spur to Double D Quad Poker Run, the event starts with sign ups at 10 a.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.
Then at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17, Chef Gerardo Moceri will host an Italian harvest wine tasting and five-course meal at Gerardo’s Firewood Café, 512 N. Beeline Highway. Tickets are $75.
For more information or tickets, contact Tubbs at (928) 978-3256.
Winter Clothing Drive
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is sponsoring a winter clothing drive to benefit PCK. Donate new or gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves at collection boxes around town, including: Charlie’s Old-Fashioned Sausage & Fresh Meats, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Mattress Experts, Payson Barber Shop, Payson Jewelers, Stage, Apothecary Shop, New Ewe, Walgreens and Walmart.