MCC Board Demurs on Changing Teen Center Age Requirement, Approves $50,000 Contract
Contract for Renovation Feasibility Study
The McLean Community Center board on Wednesday rejected a staff proposal to change the age for membership at the Old Firehouse Teen Center.
The proposal, which the board chose to send back to the MCC's Program Committee for reconsideration, would have limited Teen Center membership to 9th graders who are 15 years of age. Some 9th graders are 16.
MCC Executive Director George Sachs said staff members proposed to cap membership at age 15 because some parents worried about older children being in contact with 7th and 8th graders, who make up the bulk of the Teen Center's members. In addition, Sachs said, some older members have disrupted the center's activities.
But various members of the MCC board said they did not feel comfortable approving the proposal. They said the rationale behind the suggested age bar was not strong enough to exclude some teenagers from the Teen Center.
"They're either a 9th grader or they're not," said board member Craig Richardson.
Board member David Sanders also strongly opposed the measure, saying it would be "unfair" to leave teens out "even if it's one or two."
In another matter, the board approved the contract of a Northern Virginia-based engineering firm to prepare a feasibility study for the expansion and renovation of the Center.
The $50,000 contract, which was tweaked earlier this week after negotiations between the firm and Capital Facility members, was passed by a unanimous vote.
The firm Shaffer, Wilson, Sarver and Gray will develop three renovation models that will spell out the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed option.
"They are going to provide us with three concept designs: basic, medium and deluxe versions," said Risa Sanders, the outgoing chair of the Capital Facilities Committee.
As requested the approved contract now includes provisions for the renovation of restrooms, lobby reconfiguration, additional storage space and other items board members had deemed "must haves."
This was David Sanders' last meeting as a member of the board. Sanders did not seek reelection after serving nearly 17 years.
"I love McLean, I love the people of McLean," he said after the meeting. "I don't really feel like I'm leaving. I'll still stayed involved in the community. I'll be active."