Fayette needs a community center
Sherri Jefferson is an advocate, author, and an attorney. Transforming the lives of children is her passion. Transferring knowledge is her profession.

Fayette needs a community center

Sherri Jefferson is an advocate, author, and an attorney. Transforming the lives of children is her passion. Transferring knowledge is her profession.

As Fayette continues to expand and the youth continue to seek other outlets for entertainment, that often leads to trouble. It is time that the county considers a community center.
I advocate for youth throughout the county and idle time leads to jail time. This is a factor even during the school year where not everyone is involved in sports and after-school programs.
We have several options. We could look to repurpose and maximize the use of the local libraries, acquire existing real estate at the Pavilion, which is on the horizon to become akin to blight, or secure property to build.
Respectfully, the local libraries are slowly becoming obsolete in its intended function.
Emphasis for youth services is needed within Fayetteville and Peachtree City.
Most citizens may not be aware of the growing number of juveniles involved in the court or school system via suspension, arrest, and incarceration.
They may not be aware of the increasing number of drug and alcohol abuse, so-called teen gangs, or even golf cart thefts by teens wanting joy rides to overcome their experience with boredom.
Most juvenile delinquency is related to boredom and the need to belong and has less to do with criminality.
A community center would also help law enforcement keep children off the street, keep teens stationary, influence curfew, and oversee activities.
With all due respect, the reason why some citizens do not see the need for a community center is because they remember the old Fayette and want to maintain the status quo by doing things the way it once was done.
People remember Fayette as having two-parent households with golf and tennis communities and a basketball court in the driveway. We remember homes with backyards and basements that offered children recreational activities. We remember community parenting and policing.
Moreover, the community relied upon the district to provide after-school programs.
Going forward, this is not the norm for most families. Especially not given the changing demographics of Fayette, and demographics are not simply race. It embodies religion, cultural, and social status.
Today’s youth require more. Plus, the center could offer support services for youth, mentoring, and drug and alcohol awareness, etc.
There exists no need for a new building if we repurpose space. Libraries have a lot of untapped space that could best serve the youth. Try it as a pilot or consider a vacancy at the Pavilion, but let us keep the future of Fayette at the heart of planning and zoning – our youth!