A group of teens check out the Portal 2:20 Teen Center on Monday during its open house. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
A group of teens check out the Portal 2:20 Teen Center on Monday during its open house. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Portal 2:20 opened its doors to the public Monday night. Dozens of parents and several teens visited the teen center which is expected open soon.

The center features a stage, an arcade center, a snack bar, karaoke, movies, music and tons of activities. They are currently planning for their upcoming Nerf Wars where teens can sign up to take part in a game using Nerf guns.

Among some of the teens who visited Portal 2:20 Monday was Van Wert High School senior, Maggie Cripe who thinks that Van Wert could really prosper from a center that gives teens a fun place to go.

“Kids in high school always say that there is nothing to do in Van Wert, or that they run out of things to do, and that can no longer be an excuse now that this is here,” said Cripe.

A big feature of the teen center is that it will allow teens who can play instruments to play, perform and maybe even find other teens to make a band with. Kenneth Salcido, a sophomore from Van Wert High School, enjoys playing percussion and looks forward to being able to drum at the center. He also believes the center will benefit teens in need.

“Their mission is to get troubled teens off of the street, and I know a few people who could probably benefit from this,” said Scalcido. “A lot of the things that they have here could probably attract teens to stay here and even consistently come here.”

Julie Burk created Portal 2:20 as a way to give teens a place to go and keep them out of trouble. The center aims be a fun and safe environment for teens to hang out with their friends and keep them from boredom.

Portal 2:20 is a non-profit and is funded by donations from the community. The center relies on donations to stay up and running. Anyone willing to donate can do so by getting in contact with Burk through the center’s Facebook page, “Portal 2:20 Teen Center”.