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Perry Hall Baptist Breaks Ground on Youth Center

The planned youth center will rest behind the existing Schroeder Avenue campus.

A group of several dozen teenagers brandishing shovels may intimidate some—but not Dan Alban.

The youth pastor presided over the groundbreaking of 's planned youth center on Wednesday night. The freestanding 52-by-90-foot structure could be completed as early as this summer, according to Alban.

"We've outgrown every other room but the sanctuary ... we've been packing them all in," he said.

The youth center, valued at more than $400,000, will rest behind the existing Schroeder Avenue campus, which includes the church and . Planners recently gained Baltimore County permits for construction to proceed, Alban said.

Alban described the center as less of a recreational facility and more of a "meeting place." It is expected to house the church's weekly youth group activities, in addition to after-school community programs and special events.

"I read a comment on Patch where someone asked, 'why are we building another Walgreens when what we need is a youth center?' It got me thinking. This could be a community center for anyone to use," he said.

Youth group members, including middle and high school students, hail mostly from Perry Hall, but also from White Marsh, Kingsville, Middle River and other surrounding communities. Just over half attend Sunday services at the church.

Fundraising for the center—primarily from church member donations—started gaining momentum in January.

"There's been such an outpouring from the community. The Lord has provided more money than we could have imagined," he said.

senior and youth group member Alex Barber helped make one of the videos shown to church members to encourage donations.

"I'm glad we're going to finally get a new space to have meetings," Barber said. "It will be a place to get away from the drama created in school, a place where you're not challenged or discriminated against."

Bob May 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Amen
Carol Knapp May 18, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Wonderful news!!
Evets May 19, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Maybe our graffiti artists and bottle bomb makers will have something more constructive to do with their time when this facility is completed? Somehow, I doubt that the youths who go to a church youth activity center are the ones who who vandalize and terrorize our community...
JD1 May 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Everts - how about some proof for your comment. Why go negative on such a positive event. Loser!
Evets May 20, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Thanks JD1, for going negative on such a positive event. And mighty Christian of you, as well, to refer to someone you have never met as a loser. BTW, my comment was just that, a comment. No proof is required. All the best to you, and may God bless you and you family with good health and good fortune...

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