Hannah Iozzia personalizes one of the walls at the CanTeen’s new home, located at 6046 Route 31, Cicero, next to Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Photo by Sarah Hall.
Cicero For the last five months, the CanTeen has been homeless.
For a teen center whose mission was to provide a safe place for teens to go, it’s been rough, to say the least.
But on March 14, the doors finally opened to the center’s new home — a spacious split-level with a media room, a full kitchen, a wide-open rec room, his and hers bathrooms, a conference room, office space and more.
“We actually feel like we’re in a home now,” said participant Ashley Bubb.
“It feels like home,” echoed Melissa Mizzoli. “It’s ours. It’s comfortable.”
The building had to undergo extensive renovations before it could be suitable for the teen center to take it over. The house was purchased with grant money from the state as well as a donation from the Kaitlin Kozlowski Memorial Fund; the grant and donation also helped to complete the renovations, as did thousands of hours of volunteer labor. Kozlowski, a 16-year-old Cicero-North Syracuse High School junior, was a CanTeen regular when she was killed in a drunk driving accident in 2005.
CanTeen open for tours
Would you like a tour of the CanTeen? Just give Toni Brauchle a call at 699-1391. In addition, the CanTeen’s official grand opening will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22, with opening remarks at 3 p.m.
“We want the community to see what it’s all about,” Brauchle said. “We want people to take the tour.”
“Considering it was a volunteer workforce for the most part, it really turned out beyond my wildest dreams,” said CanTeen Executive Director Toni Brauchle. “The kids were so excited the first day. Everything here is about the kids. This is their place.”
The center held its “soft” opening on March 14, when Brauchle spread the word through Facebook that the CanTeen was open. The following Monday, March 19, she posted signs at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. About 40 to 50 kids have been showing up daily.