BANDON -- The Bandon Community Youth Center board of directors has asked Executive Director Ollie Jones to step down, effective June 30.
According to Board Chairman Chris Powell, Jones was sent a letter last week telling her the board wants to "pursue new leadership for the Youth Center."
Jones has been executive director of the Youth Center since August 2011. She replaced former director Harv Schubothe, who retired after working in that capacity for several years.
In addition, the terms of two board members of the three-member board are up June 30, those of Powell and Mellis See. Board member Angie Gonzales-Smith said the board has elected several new members, who include Kim Russell, Al Greenfield, John Ohanesian, Vicki Affatati and Shay Williams. Their terms have yet to be determined.
"I'm looking at this as an opportunity for myself and the Youth Center," Jones said Tuesday. "I think the community is lucky to have a youth center and I hope they continue to support it."
Starting June 11, when the Bandon School District releases students for summer break, the Youth Center will be closed until fall, according to a press release from Gonzales-Smith.
"We will be conducting a director search and will announce the timeline for applications soon," Gonzales-Smith said.
Jones has been under fire by some community members who felt she wasn't providing adequate programming for or managing the center well. Jones has defended herself by saying she has been hampered by lack of funding, decreased attendance, deteriorating facilities and by additional duties overseeing the operation of Our Thrift Store, owned by the Youth Center. Both the center and Our Thrift Store are 501(c)(3) nonprofits chartered for public benefit.
Our Thrift Store will remain open and hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily starting June 1. Youth Center part-time program aide Loreen Mills also will remain as an employee, Powell said.
Over the summer, the Youth Center board will organize at least two work parties.
"Watch for two upcoming community work days to paint, landscape, etc.," Gonzales-Smith said. "We also will have a contest for youth to rename the Youth Center, with a fantastic prize for the winner."
Community members are encouraged to volunteer on the work days or get involved with the Youth Center in some way.
Gonzales-Smith said the board also will work on re-creating the center's programs.
"We are looking forward to working hard this summer to bring the youth of our community safe, engaging quality programming," Gonzales-Smith said.