Hoping to provide Hanover Park's teens with a dedicated space the way several neighboring communities do, the village has turned to its own residents to start gauging interest in a teen center.
"I'm hopeful people see a want or need for this," Hanover Park Trustee Ed Zimel said. "This village is ever evolving and trying to find a way to help its citizens, but we're missing, to a degree, the children aspect of things."
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Officials first decided to circulate a four-question survey to get feedback. It asks participants if they think opening a teen center is a good idea, whether teens live in their household and if they'd utilize the facility. There's also a box for comments.
There aren't specific plans just yet, but according to the survey, the center would offer fun and safe programs, educational and personal wellness services, video games, television, pool, table tennis, music, social opportunities and more.
Zimel, who has a 16-year-old daughter of his own, said he believes a centrally located teen center would bring together Hanover Park teens who are currently divided between multiple school districts and four different townships.
He reached out to Hanover and Schaumburg townships, the Hanover Park Park District, the Barn teen center in Schaumburg and the offices of state Rep. Fred Crespo and state Rep. Michelle Mussman. Representatives met and discussed logistics including location, funding and overall need.
"This wouldn't be all village funded; it would be a shared venture," Zimel said. "We're just gathering information at this point."
Zimel said he envisions a location accessible to Pace bus service so teens don't have to drive.
The survey, which is being promoted in the village newsletter, online and through e-alerts, will be active through June 16. Staff will compile the results and present them at an upcoming board meeting for discussion. If response is low, the village may include the survey in residents' water bills to reach more people.
To complete the survey, visit hpil.org.