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The Hub, a 26,000-square-foot facility located on McKinley Parkway on the campus of the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg, is considered by many Western New York teens and tweens as an oasis. It’s centered around the idea of a safe place for teens to hang out. It’s a high school student’s fantasy land – an escape, a place to just relax on Friday nights.

Bubble hockey, foosball, pingpong, air hockey, basketball and video games – there’s something for everyone. Separate high school and middle school nights keep the atmosphere appropriate for the age levels.

Events cater to each age group, such as open mic nights for high school students from 7 to 10 p.m. the last Friday of every month. It’s a relaxing night of music and poetry.

Likewise, middle school students have their own age-appropriate events. A spiritual-based program called DRIVE is held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Middle School Night, when young teens and tweens can hang out with their friends, is held from 7 to 10 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month.

One of the more popular activities at the Hub is dodgeball, so organizers created a Dodgeball League, which began last month. With a team of friends, high school students can compete for bragging rights, not to mention prizes and giveaways that total $500.

Rosalie Constable, a regular Hub visitor as well as a volunteer, said the Hub is a welcoming place.

“I started coming to the Hub in middle school, and right away they accepted me,” said Rosalie, who credits her time spent at the Hub for helping her to outgrow her shyness.

“I used to be shy, but by the time I was in high school, something changed in me,” she said. “The acceptance I felt here made me really outgoing, and now I like to talk to people.”

The gym at the Hub often is rented for basketball tournaments or home-schooling sports opportunities. It also can be used for high school banquets and post-prom parties.

It recently hosted a battle of the bands, and the 10th annual Hamburg Festival of Arts will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The art festival will showcase the talents and artwork of students in grades kindergarten through 12 from 15 area schools.

The four main rooms at the Hub are: the café/game room, the garage, the gym and the breakout room. Each room is clean, contemporary and spacious.

The Hub is open to students from all areas, so even if you come alone, you can mingle and have fun. For more information, visit www.thehubsite.com.

Amy Bucklaew is a sophomore at Lancaster High School.