The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus is working to give teens their own space.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus is working to give teens their own space.

The idea of the new teen lounge is to provide a place where teenagers can hang out away from other age groups, JCC communications director Kriss Galloway said.

"There are things for our seniors, our preschoolers and everyone in between except for our teens," she said.

While the JCC offers numerous classes for teens, there isn't a space for them to socialize with their friends. JCC board president Jeff Meyer came up with the idea to convert the former Kaleidoscope room into the teen lounge.

"Many times people want to come and hang out with other people that they know," Galloway said. "Kids do not really have a place to socialize."

The teen lounge will be for children ages 11 and up. Activities will include video games, a foosball table and a pool table, and there will be a place to do homework, Galloway said.

Renovation of the space is ongoing, and organizers hope to open the teen lounge by May 1, Galloway said. The JCC is hoping members will donate DVD players and DVDs, computers, a flat-screen television, an iPod docking station and video game systems.

Galloway said she already has received positive reaction from parents.

"We've gotten a couple of comments from parents who are very happy about this," she said.

Meyer said he has three sons who like to spend time at the JCC. He wanted a place for his children and others to have fun, meet new people and hang out. The lounge also will offer an alternative for teens who visited Columbus recreation centers that the city closed.

"I look at that and it makes me sad," Meyer said. "I hope the center is one of the few that remain a viable entity for the community."

Meyer said the teen lounge is being built through private donations.

Samara Chodosh, Jewish Experience for Teens director, said teens were surprised but excited about the new lounge, which will give them a place to gather away from parents and younger siblings.

There was a teen lounge at the JCC years ago, but it was tucked away in the basement, Chodosh said. This is an open space that teens will want to visit, she said.

"I'm so excited to have a place for them, a place that is exactly what they want," she said.