For the past several years the talk of a skate park in Lake Stevens has ebbed and flowed just like the waters of the lake, but with the upcoming grand opening of a new indoor skate park and teen center, talk has turned into action.
Pastor D.J. Rabe, along with his wife Dottie and many other community members, are in th eprocess of opening The HOUSE Teen Center and Skate Park at 3316 Old Hartford Road, just south of downtown Lake Stevens.
The center is a 12,000 square foot space that not only includes a 5,000 square foot indoor skate park but other activities including a performance stage with a 200 inch screen, sound system and lighting, weight room, computer station, free wifi, basketball hoops, air hockey, pool tables, ping pong tables, foosball tables, comfy couches, and more.
Because of the concern of teens becoming bored and troublesome within the city, the Rabes wanted to give teens a safe place to go.
“We’re here to help the city with the aimless youth who wander around town,” Rabe said. “We know there is nothing for teens to do here, but we have hauled off and done it and here it is.”
Rabe is not new to the skate park business. He was the organizer of many skating events at the Snohomish Skate Park in the City of Snohomish which gave kids a place to show off their talent and bring adults and kids together.
“He organized the skate park activities and contests and introduced the community to the kids at the skate park,” Snohomish City Police Chief John Turner said. “The activities provided a melting pot for kids and adults and gave the kids an opportunity to show their talents in a safe way.”
Turner explained that by working together (the police, kids and adults) both the skaters and the community were better protected.
“They learned to take turns and wear helmets for safety reasons,” Turner said. “All of those things make for a better community environment.Kids look up to him.”
Rabe would like to see the same things happen for the kids in Lake Stevens noting that kids and parents have already come together to build the ramps for the skate park.
“Carpenters and parents built the ramps and the kids helped,” he explains. “They really took ownership in it, which will make it successful.”
Rabe wants to assure parents that their kids will be safe and protected from negative influences like swearing and drugs. If kids become a problem, they are asked to leave.
“We encourage the behavior we want to see, not discourage behavior we don’t want to see,” he said. “The leaders here have all been through stuff and have experience in conflict resolution.”
“There are so many talented kids here. They enjoy singing and playing the instruments,” Dottie said. “We would love to have someone come in and plan performances or plays.”
Right now, The HOUSE Teen Center is awaiting final approval from the city but is hoping to open in April. After that, keeping the doors open will be their main goal.
“Our first and primary focus is to stay here,” Rabe explains.
Currently, the center is in the process of getting permits from the city and can’t open until that is complete.
“We’re supportive of the project, we just need to make sure it’s a safe place to be,” City Adminstrator Jan Berg said.
Teens can pay $20 a month to use the indoor skate park, but the rest of the activities will be free. The Rabes are also planning to rent out the space for birthday parties or events, which would also include the use of two bouncy houses.
Because they are a non-profit (501c3) organization, anyone can donate to the center and claim a tax deduction.
If you would like to find out more about The HOUSE Teen Center visit their website at TheHouseTC.org
or call 425-501-3506.