New conceptual plans drawn for teen innovation center


GONZALES — The Teen Innovation Center has taken a step forward with conceptual plans made with the help of the Gonzales Youth Council, In Studio Architecture and Recreation Coordinator Sara Papineau-Brandt.

“We want to have a safe and resourceful place, ideally where young people can take academics beyond the classroom,” Youth Commissioner Cindy Aguilar said. “Getting the opportunity to enrich in yourselves and mathematics and the subjects that you learn in school in order to immerse themselves in the 21st Century programs and activities.”

When the Youth Council was speaking among themselves about the Teen Innovation Center, one of the areas that came up was the Gonzales High School Jazz Band. The Jazz Band has been having difficulties finding somewhere to record its musical sessions and has advisers coming from Monterey to help out. Currently, the Jazz Band has seven members and said the additional space would also help to attract more members to the band.

The Teen Innovation Center would also help the MESA and STEM programs at Gonzales High School with access to computers and resources the students need to complete projects in robotics and other areas.

Gonzales Youth Council enlisted Luis Vargas from In Studio Architecture out of Salinas for the project designs. The building the Youth Council and In Studio Architecture are looking at is next to the City Council Chambers with about 5,000 square feet.

“We came up with about four of five different options, conceptual plans,” Vargas said. “To us this is our youngest client ever. Working through that process brought us back to the reality of dreaming.”

The conceptual plans for the Teen Innovation Center include a space for learning using computers, white boards and even a different kind of seating. For the walls, the architecture firm is looking at ones that are movable and accessible.

Another space is designated as a Maker’s Space for creating and making things. Within the Maker’s Space, there would be a 3D printer, robotics, design studio and music studio.

There would also be a more relaxed area for hanging out or researching.

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