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Youth club may find permanent home in downtown warehouse

Parent of Skrappy’s likely to get lease on downtown space

The parent organization of the Skrappy’s youth club is expected to get the lease for the warehouse at 191 E. Toole Ave. now held by the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Skrappy’s, which provides a drug- and alcohol-free environment for youths to socialize and take part in arts programs, moved into the warehouse March 3 with a right of entry giving the group limited occupancy of 49 people.

Tuesday, the City Council will consider terminating MOCA’s lease and approving a renewable three-month lease with Our Family Services, Skrappy’s nonprofit parent.

The lease terms are similar to MOCA’s, where the museum paid $1 per year and was responsible for all expenses with the building. Our Family Services will pay $1 for the three-month term, according to the lease document.

Skrappy’s move to Toole was a collaboration among Our Family, MOCA, the city and developer Jim Campbell, who is committing $250,000 over five years to do necessary structural work. Campbell plans to install a back door in the next 90 days.

The lack of a back door limits Skrappy’s occupancy now and also caused MOCA to abandon the warehouse for exhibition space in 2006. After the door is installed, Campbell plans to add a sprinkler system.

“We’re getting the building prepared to run workshops,” said Victor Quiros, community services manager for Our Family.

In the meantime, Tucson Youth Collective, a group of former Skrappy’s youths from a decade ago, has applied for Internal Revenue Code 501(c)3 nonprofit status to acquire the club from Our Family, which has operated Skrappy’s since 2000. The club was started in 1996.

“Once they get (nonprofit status),” Quiros said, “we will let them take on the Skrappy’s project.”

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