Hangin' at Bristol's Hub

It's cool, it's fun and it's where teens can hang out, play pool, practice their skateboarding techniques at the professionally designed (and popular) skate park, eat a healthy snack made from local products, learn to play guitar and drums and enjoy live music, all under the supervision of a staff of adults who's mission is to create a safe and comfortable haven for area youth.

Bristol's Hub youth center is part of the Bristol Recreation Department. Over the years it has grown in both its mission and its offerings to area teens. Recently the building, located near Mt. Abraham union High School and the Bristol Rec field, has undergone extensive renovations, including raising the ceiling, installing circuitry to support stage lighting, upgrades to the kitchen area and the installation of a new stage that cleverly doubles as an indoor half-pipe for foul weather skateboarding. However, it's the people who run the Hub that give it a unique character that teens find comfortable and reassuring. Officially, Jim Lockridge is the Director, Ryan Krushenick runs the music program and Erin Buckwalter directs the Nutrition and Garden programs and all three pitch in together to make the place run smoothly, with the help of assistants Alara Bourgeois, Josh Tanner and a number of volunteer helpers.

The Hub is a comfortable place to hang out after school, curl up on a couch, talk with friends, play video games or do homework. The atmosphere is very welcoming and kid friendly. There are two pool tables, a foosball table, a video game station and a television for kids who just want to "chill". Every person who visits the Hub is required to read and sign a copy of the House Rules, which boil down to "no hate, no violence, no drugs, and respect (for self and the Hub). The Hub staff is always present to keep a friendly eye on things, help with homework or provide a listening ear when needed. The snacks are all healthy but made with young appetites in mind. A recent weekly snack menu included blueberry muffins, macaroni and cheese, chips and dip and pizza donated by a local pizza restaurant.

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