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Teen Center Grant $ Frozen
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A start to construction of the Riverbank Teen Center is on hold until at least March because the state grant funds have been frozen.

The state grant is for $250,000, a large chunk of the estimated $1 million cost for the center that was designed by Indigo Hammond Architects and will be built on the west side of the existing Riverbank Community Center.

Parks and Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick presented a low bid of $818,000 to the Riverbank City Council in late December but council members postponed awarding the contract to make further cost savings in design and consider borrowing some of the money from the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds intended for renovation of the Del Rio Theater.

Fitzpatrick later learned the state had frozen the grant funds, she said Monday.

Since the low bid offer expires on Feb. 20, the project will probably have to be bid again, said Fitzpatrick, but by March she hopes "the state will have a budget and the city will have more information on the RDA funds."

Council members seem in favor of going ahead with construction despite the current economic crisis, she said, and she feels they owe it to numerous private donors and the young people who have worked on the design for a year and more.

Although only 2,600 square feet, the size of a large house, the intended building has an innovative design and will offer a stage, which can play to either indoor or outdoor audiences, a game room, a computer center and a snack bar.