A Tardis from the hit TV show “Doctor Who” provides the entrance into the teen activity room. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barhart)
A Tardis from the hit TV show “Doctor Who” provides the entrance into the teen activity room. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barhart)

DHI Media Staff Writer


VAN WERT – Portal 2:20 Teen Center is nearing completion and will hold an open house Monday, Dec. 12, for the public to see all of the hard work volunteers have put into the building.

Portal 2:20 will be a teen center that welcomes seventh through twelfth grade students to come when they are bored, after school and on weekends.

“We have a need in this community,” said the center’s Executive Director Julie Burk. “We don’t really have a place in Van Wert for just teenagers to go to.”

The goal is to give kids something positive and encouraging that will help keep them out of trouble. Burk stated she worked with students to find out if they would want a teen center and received very positive feedback.

Portal 2:20, named after the video game Portal and the bible verse Galatians 2:20, is expected to open very soon and will feature a lot of activities for students.

“We’re gonna have a retro arcade, a snack bar, places to hang out, and movies, books and magazines; we’ll have music playing as well,” said Burk. “We’ve even talked about doing Nerf wars and game nights – I have so many ideas.”

She also plans to allow teens in local bands to play with their bands on stage within the center, which could even turn into a battle of the bands event. Karaoke will also be available for teens that enjoy singing.

The retro arcade features several televisions that are hooked up to gaming consoles like the classic Atari, a GameCube, and more that will allow students to play all their favorite games.

Portal 2:20 is a non-profit organization completely supported by the community. Every one that works at the center is a volunteer and they are always welcoming more volunteers upon completion and approval of an application.

“We have a $5,000 goal to put the finishing touches on a few things that still need done,” said Burk. “All of the proceeds go directly into the teen center, none of us are paid employees.”

Vantage students helped with construction of the teen center and helped to craft the stage, which will hopefully have a projector added to it later to allow movies to be played in a big screen format.

The teen center plans to stay open all summer long to provide teens a place to go when school is out.

The building is located at 108B Zimmerman Avenue and will require students to check in and out of the center at the main desk.

The open house will be on Monday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include a tour of Portal 2:20, as well as a dessert and coffee bar.