The Red Barn Youth Center, located on the Key Peninsula Highway just south of Key Center, is “partially open,” according to Glen Ehrhardt, board vice president and facility committee chair. “The main meeting room (the galley) is completely finished,” he said.

Several groups, including the Y, Tacoma Community College (GED program) and a new church have used the facility in the past several months.

The current plan is to have the center fully open in September for after-school activities for Key Peninsula youth, a safe place to recreate, socialize, find guidance, get homework help and develop positive relationships.

“We now have the funding and are actively seeking a program coordinator (who) will be in charge of youth activities,” Ehrhardt said. “In the meantime, we hope to have some fun activities during the summer,” he added.

According to Ehrhardt, as funding becomes available, the multi-purpose room will be finished. He said that some local teens have helped with the planning.

A big event is set for Aug. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or so, called Red Barn Splash, to raise awareness and exhibit the progress to date.

Five local bands will be featured in an outdoor setting, and a couple of local comedians will spice up the stage between bands.

Asked if it was a fundraiser, Jo Ann Maxwell, former board member and current volunteer grant writer, said it was “more of a ‘friend raiser,’ or in other words, a community outreach event, but a request for donations will be announced.”

The event food, prepared by chef Oliver Coldeen, is to be donated by community members, so there will be no charge for it.

“The Red Barn will be operated in accordance with Christian values and principles,” Ehrhardt said. Young people of all backgrounds are welcome.

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