This file part of www.watertownhistory.org website

 

Activities planned at local ROC

Recreation & Outreach Center for Youths

321 S. Water St

213 N Third St [2009]

Former Empire Globe property

 

The Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC) for Youth, 321 S. Water St., is for high school teenagers and offers a wide variety of activities and events.

 

The center offers safe, free fun, is well supervised and organized, allowing for much free time when it is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 3 to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 3 to 10 p.m.  Offered are pool, ping pong, foosball, cable TV, board/card games, video/computer gaming and Internet surfing using the supervised and protected computers.  Experienced biblical counseling or guidance is also available if desired.

 

High school teens as well as seventh- and eighth-graders are invited to the ROC. Homework tutoring is available anytime.  Organized board game time is available anytime.

 

1999

Planning for the ROC began in 1999 when the four Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran churches in the city - St. John's, St. Luke's, St. Mark's and Trinity - saw the need for such a youth center.  The site for the ROC was originally planned for Main Street, but that was changed when the former A to Z Farm Center building on South Water Street was offered rent free.  That building was transformed into the ROC and opened in December 2003.

 

2003

06 06       A dilapidated South Water Street building will be getting a colorful face-lift next month.  In what’s being called the “piece project,” the A to Z Farm Center will be painted with murals in a mosaic style.  Sherrie Avery-King said it is referred to as the piece project because the painting will be done in various stages and the effort will bring together area artists and citizens.  The work was prompted by neighbors complaining the building was an eyesore.  However, the final project is only temporary as the structure will eventually be removed to accommodate for the expansion of the river walk.  “We were brainstorming what we could do in the meantime to help the building’s appearance,” Avery-King said.  “And since Watertown is becoming the city of murals, and we have lots of local artists, we decided to do a community art project.”    WDT

07 16       South Water Street has certainly seen more color in the past week as artists are participating in the Piece project, painting murals in a mosaic style on the former A to Z Farm Center building.  The project began last weekend and continues this week. Sherrie Avery-King, Main Street Program director, said the project was called “Piece” because of all of the artists coming together in pieces to complete the project.  Four artists, Sarah Gilbert, Eda Duesterhoeft, Michael Buchert and Gwendolyn Cohn, became the creative supervisors and were each assigned a side of the building.  Each artist drew a design and a theme . The designs were approved by Avery-King and Yvonne Duesterhoeft, marketing director of The Market.  Yvonne Duesterhoeft’s boss, Larry Mistele, owns the former A to Z building.    WDT

09 09       The placement of a youth center on South Water Street was supported by Watertown's Plan Commission despite a few objections from neighbors to the center's future home.  Originally, Watertown's four Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod churches proposed a youth Recreation and Outreach Center at 208 W. Main St. but changed location to the former A to Z farm building when the space was offered rent free.  "The reason we are moving the center is for economics," Don Bartz, ROC board chairman, said.  "This is not a typical youth center.  It's something Watertown hasn't seen before.  We're here to help the community."  ROC will serve as a place for counseling, Bible study, reading and games.    WDT

09 24       The Rev. Timothy Mueller will be installed as the director of the Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center for youths Sunday at 2 p.m. in the chapel at Luther Preparatory School.  At the event, an offering will be taken to support the ROC.  Refreshments will be served in the cafeteria following the installation.  A food shower will also be held to benefit the Mueller family. People are asked to bring nonperishable food items and drop them off at the chapel’s entry prior to the service. The community is invited to attend the installation. The ROC is expected to open at 321 S. Water St. sometime in November.   WDT

 

2004

11 29       As 3 o’clock begins to roll around about a dozen of Watertown’s teenagers begin to show up and wait outside the doors of the colorfully painted Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center for Youth.  The ROC, and the many teenagers that know it as their second home, will be celebrating its one year anniversary on Saturday.  Rev. Tim Mueller, often called PT or Pastor Tim by the teens at the ROC, is the full-time director.  As soon as he arrives and opens the doors the teens run in, grab a seat on the couches and visit or find something else that grabs their attention.   WDT

 

2009

12 22       ROC offer to purchase Carew Heating bldg at 213 N Third.  The ROC was forced to move out of its former home on South Water Street in October of this year because of the proposed construction of a 54-unit senior citizen complex on the same site. The ROC headquarters was razed in late October.  Because the ROC was unable to secure a permanent home at that time, the center temporarily moved into the basement of St. Mark's Parish Hall on Jones Street.     WDT

 

2010

06 28       The new location of the Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC) was formally opened with an open house event June 26.  The extensively remodeled space at 213 N. Third St. offers area teens a place to gather and converse as well as an opportunity to play games and have access to Internet-equipped computers.  The center also offers after school activities and mentoring programs.  The project is the result of many hours of volunteer work and material contributions from area residents and the center's youths.   WDT

 

2013      10th Anniversary

12 06       The Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center for Youth (ROC), 213 N. Third St., will celebrate its 10th anniversary with an open house Sunday, from noon until 3 p.m.

 

The idea for the Watertown ROC began in 1999, after four WELS churches, St. Johns, St. Luke’s, St. Mark’s and Trinity Lutheran, recognized a need for a safe and uplifting environment where local teenagers could go to have fun and develop positive relationships with other community members.

 

The center first opened in 2003, occupying a building on South Water Street. In 2009, it had to move out of that building to make way for the construction of an apartment complex being built on that property. The center temporarily occupied the basement of St. Mark’s Church, until finally moving to its current location in June of 2010.

 

 

Cross Reference:  YouTube video clip