We were pleased last week to report the upcoming opening of a teen social club in Waterford Township — although the full nature of the enterprise doesn’t fit that of the teen clubs previously operated in the area. That’s why we were taken aback by a negative comment about the place posted on our website, spinalcolumnonline.com. While we expect the opening of a so-called teen club to prompt the raising of a suspicious eyebrow or two, people need to give the business a fair chance before publicly spreading prognostications of crime, vice and doom.
Spearheaded by Waterford residents Bill and Alana Brown, Club Elektrik is slated to open at 3635 Highland Road on March 3.
The Browns’ goal is to provide a safe and entertaining venue for people between 14- and 18-years-old. Bill Brown said he wants to see a safe environment where his 16-year-old daughter and other teens can socialize.
The club will be open Monday through Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. During the weekdays, the club will provide a comfortable study environment where teens can work on school projects or socialize with friends, free of charge. Refreshments will be available for purchase, along with free Wi-Fi Internet access and tutoring by local honor students. Weekend evenings promise sheer entertainment, including music, dancing, arcade games, and refreshments for purchase. There will be a $10 entry fee on weekends.
The Browns are trying to integrate weekly health classes covering yoga, dance, and nutrition at an affordable cost, and arrange free seminars on money management, local government, and community awareness.
All patrons will have to show proper identification prior to entry. They will be subjected to a search and metal detector. Alcohol, drugs, and weapons will be prohibited. Security officers or surveillance cameras will monitor the parking lots, exits, bathrooms and dance floor at all times. A police patrol car will be stationed in the parking lot on Fridays and Saturdays from open to close.
We’re aware that other teen clubs in the area have been the source of trouble from time to time. However, the Browns appear to be intent on operating something different. Kudos to them.
That’s why it’s unfair to rip on the place at this stage, before it’s open. Caution, and even a dash of suspicion are natural and welcome; but let’s hold off on the premature criticism.
The community can play a role in ensuring Club Elektrik meets the Browns’ vision. Parents and community leaders can — and should — keep an eye out for signs of trouble, and if there are any, promptly report it to township officials and police.
In the meantime, join us in wishing the Browns luck and in expecting something new and exciting for the area’s young people.