Imagine this: Lions Den Teen Center
By Jason Miller
The former Concrete Eagles building in Concrete Town Center is about to get a major overhaul.
New owners Mike and Melissa Swanberg, who own The Washington Cafe and Bakery next door, plan to expand their dining area and bakery kitchen into their “new” digs, and include a section of artwork and other items made by Upper Skagit Valley residents.
But that’s just the tip of this story’s iceberg. The Swanbergs also have given the nod to local couple Jarrod and Valerie Lee, who plan to convert the basement of the former Eagles building into a hangout for high school-age youth: the Lions Den Teen Center.
Jarrod Lee envisions a “nightclub with a different atmosphere” setting for the teen center, complete with couches, TVs, video games and video game systems, a pool table, air hockey, dart boards, and a remodeled kitchen. “We want to be able to sell cans of pop and prepackaged foods and snacks,” he said.
The Lees will supervise the center during its hours of operation. Jarrod Lee said he plans to open the doors to teens ages 14–21 this summer and will operate Mon. through Thur. from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sun. from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lee is seeking monetary and material donations for the teen center. Virtually any kind of building material or game-related items can be donated, from drywall to a Ping-Pong table; if they can’t use it, they’ll sell it to raise money for the center. An account for “Lions Den Teen Center” has been set up at Columbia Bank, and questions about donations can be directed to Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 360.391.2211. Monthly sponsorships also will be welcome.
The teen center’s mission statement sums up the Lees’ goal:
“To encourage teens and recent high school graduates to have a positive role in their community by teaching them to support one another and learn various life skills in order to become responsible members of our society.”
“When the kids come in, they’ll be safe and cared for. They can leave everything behind—everything,” said Lee.