After a year, Laguna Madre Youth Center reopens

Laguna Madre area city representatives and Laguna Madre Youth Center staff during a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the reopening of the Laguna Madre Youth Center. Photo by Gaige Davila.

By Gaige Davila

The Laguna Madre Youth Center (LMYC) reopened to eager Point Isabel ISD students this past Monday, after over a year closed from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After much careful thought, our board members and staff decided it was safe to reopen the (Laguna Madre) Youth Center and here we are today, doing just that,” Marcela Hancock, Chief Operations Officer, told attendees on April 12.

LMYC staff member Emery Nino signs in PI-ISD students on LMYC’s reopening day, April 12. Photo by Gaige Davila.

The LMYC is reopening at 50 percent capacity for now, which is around 60 students, most of which are from Point Isabel ISD’s elementary schools, Derry and Garriga. Students have their temperature taken upon entry and are given facemasks and face shields. Each student now has a four-digit sign-in number. Their afterschool program runs from 3:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.

While the LMYC was closed, most of the building was renovated. A new roof, ceiling, and gym floor are in, and the facility’s game room, art room and science room have been renovated, too.

The LMYC renovated their facility in phases, starting last summer. The renovations took several months, LMYC Board Member Wanda Reyes told the PRESS inside the LMYC gym.

Laguna Madre cities, the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, the Carl Anderson Foundation, and donations from local businesses funded the renovation.

The Laguna Madre Youth Center’s newly renovated gym on April 12. Photo by Gaige Davila.

Hancock said LMYC will slowly increase the facility’s capacity as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, hoping to open at full capacity by June or July.

The LMYC, formerly the Boys and Girls Club, was founded in 1989. The facility reopened as the Laguna Madre Youth Center in 2017.

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