Krista Corner Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
A local church celebrated the opening of its community youth center "The Bridge" Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Bridge continued its grand opening Sunday with a super bowl party for area young people including live bands for the half-time show and free food. The new youth center is geared toward providing area students and young adults alternative entertainment. The Bridge is open after school from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and for occasional weekend event s. Fi f th Avenue Christian Church Youth Minister Russell Vaughn said they may consider opening the center for more hours in the future. "We wanted a place for kids to come and hang out after school," Vaughn said. "It's open to all seventhto twelfth-grade students. We're just going to pack the kitchen with cheap snacks so kids can come and do homework or play games." The Bridge is also the new meeting place for the Fifth Avenue Christian Ch u r c h Yo u t h Mi n i s t r y h e l d Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Vaughn said hundreds of Hi-Line community members contributed to the project, which took about a year to complete. "It was a community effort," he said. "Some contributed financially and others donated time." Vaughn added that without the help of three local retirees, The Bridge couldn't be possible. "Ted Denning, Roger Golden and Tom Bergren came in on a daily basis to head up the construction," he said. Mark Maggleson also put in a lot of man hours, Vaughn added. Becki Miller co-owner of Legends Studio in Bozeman and Gildford, designed the project. "I helped them pick out the finishes and the colors," she said. "We were trying to keep the industrial look and make it fun, funky and more modern for the kids." Senior Minister Rowlie Hutton said God had a hand in the completion of the project. "When people take a look at this building or drive into the Fifth Avenue parking lot, there's only two words only God," he said. "With the things that were donated and the things people bought, again only God." Hutton said at the earliest stages of the project, when the church was still considering adding on to its existing building, they also looked at the building next to the U.S. Border Patrol Field Station. A church member learned of the idea to open The Bridge and gave the church $100,000 toward the purchase of the building. The donor asked to remain anonymous. "From day one, we just felt that God was behind the project," Hutton added. A community open house for the youth center will be held Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m.