Doing a 180

MARSHALL – In the past, the space on the second floor of the Knights of Columbus Hall on Third Street in downtown Marshall was called The Alternative. But even though the center has new name, Loft 180, and new leadership, the mission is still the same.

“Loft 180 is a safe place where youth can be themselves,” director Caleb Schmidt said. “A place where they can just come hang out, have fun. Now that the bowling alley shut down, there’s just no other place in town.”

Loft 180 hosted an open house this past weekend, inviting parents and youth to explore the center and see everything it has to offer.

“We are a Christian organization so the name is somewhat symbolic to how the disciples met in the upper room in Acts,” Schmidt said. “The ‘180’ is turning around for God you can come here and turn around.”

The center runs on donations from local businesses, churches and individuals, Schmidt said, They also do fundraising and sell snacks at the center to help with expenses. For entertainment, Loft 180 offers games, like pool, foosball and air hockey, and Schmidt is looking into booking bands to play this summer.

During the school year, the center is open Friday nights for 7-12 graders to hang out. On Sunday evening the center is also open for a worship night.

During the summer, the youth night will be held on Monday evenings from 7-11 p.m. and worship on Wednesday evenings.

Schmidt said parents are welcome visit Loft 180 anytime to check out the environment.

“I want people to know this is a place where junior high and high school students can come, and it’s a safe place for them to be where they can have fun and be themselves,” Schmidt said.