Teens spruce up recreation center

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Local youth are working to improve the image of the Tucumcari Recreation Center.

Six area teens on Friday planted flowers and plants in one of the two newly constructed planters in front of the center.

“The guys built the planters,” said Scott Simpson, center director. “They have been giving the Recreation Center a much needed face lift.”

Simpson said the teens are participating in the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps. He said each year they work on a project aimed at improving community facilities.

“These guys have done a great job,” Simpson said. “They planted grass, built the planters and even installed a fully automated sprinkler system.”

The material and wages paid to the teens is provided through a $30,000 grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, said Yvette Fazekas, Tucumcari Community Development Project coordinator.

“This grant gives the center funding and resources not available through our annual budget,” Simpson said.

The YCC was created in 1992, and is administratively attached to the EMNRD, according to the organization’s Web site. Their primary goal is to employ the state’s youth in public projects. The participants learn employment skills, work ethics as well as self-discipline and self-esteem.

The teens are eligible for a $1,500 scholarship after working with the YCC. That scholarship can be used to attend any college in New Mexico, Simpson said.

The Recreation center project began on June 10 and is scheduled to be completed about mid-August, Simpson said.

“It is hard work,” said Wesley Martinez, YCC participant. “I want to complete the job and see our final product.”

Simpson said this is the first work on the exterior of the building since its opening in 1992.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” said Jantzen Darnell, YCC participant. “What we are doing is going to make the center look a lot better.”