ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Activities planned at local ROC

Recreation & Outreach Center for Youths

321 S. Water St

213 N Third St [2009]


THE ROC was in the Water Street building from December 2003 to October, 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.



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.



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




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




The Izaak Walton League invited teens from the Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC) to join them in their yearly sprucing up of Tivoli Island.  “The island continues to be a wonderful place for people to enjoy as they are able to walk all over the island on groomed wood chip trails,” Rev. Tim Mueller, director of the ROC Youth Center, said.  “Folks can walk and enjoy nature on Tivoli Island, especially now, as many varieties of birds and baby ducks are visible and the spring flowers are in full bloom.”  Every year the Izaak Walton League cleans up and spreads new wood chips over the many trails.  WDT



12 22          PURCHASE BLDG AT 213 N THIRD.

               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




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.




It's probably not what most people would expect from a church-sponsored youth center. . . . In fact, the setting looks more like what a typical teenager might consider the perfect bedroom -- just on a larger scale.     WDTimes article of 05 31 2018.    



Cross Reference:  YouTube video clip




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin