RP Lumber CENTER Remains Unknown by Students


Chase Golem

Junior Kate Huang and her friends study at the RP Lumber CENTER’s “The Garage” on Sept. 7. Huang and her friends go to “The Garage” almost every day after school.

Chase Golem, Student Life editor

The RP Lumber CENTER opened to the public in mid June after many months of construction and a rename. With a teen center, skate rink, and fitness center, the parking lot remains empty. 

The teen center at the RP Lumber CENTER, or “The Garage,” as voted on by students, was fully open for use on June 15, opening day. Of 67 students polled on social media, only 14 had been to the teen center since its opening. 

On a Wednesday afternoon, during the PLC meetings with teachers and their departments, the teen center had four people there studying. 

“I think it would be better for The CENTER if they wanted more people to come,” junior Kate Huang said. “For the people who go here, we came here because its quieter than EHS.” 

Despite the low attendance of the space, it’s expected for now. According to Phil Zamora, RP Lumber Center Superintendent, they expect it to be low during the summer and will eventually increase as the weather gets colder. 

“We figured it would take a little bit for the word to get out,” Zamora said. “We feel like every day we see a few more people trickle in.” 

There is no official website for The CENTER, just a category on the City of Edwardsville’s website. No hours are posted for The CENTER, the teen center or other activities. The FAQ page for public skating is blank except for one question.  

“I don’t even know how to get in there,” senior Lexi Trimm said. 

Other than the teen center, the RP Lumber CENTER’s focus is ice skating. When not in use by EHS hockey for practice, it’s open for skating. 

“Over the summer, one of my friends said she wanted to ice skate,” Huang said. “So, I decided to come with some of my friends here.” 

For Huang, the teen center is easier to get to than the library in some cases. While she can drive, she said the parking lot can be a hassle to get out of and it’s easier to walk to The CENTER. 

“I think they made the best use of this area,” Huang said. “It’s kind of narrow compared to some other spaces I’ve been to, like a library. It’s very calming.”