Teen club to open Friday in Janesville
If you go
What: Decisions teen club
Where: 18-24 S. River St., Janesville.
When: Open beginning Friday, April 8, on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 11:30 p.m. for high school students. Beginning Saturday, April 23, Saturdays will be reserved for people ages 18 through 20. Hours will be 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: $10, although that will vary depending on the entertainment.
Open houses: For parents and community members from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 18, 19 and 20.
Grand opening: The weekend of April 22, with the first middle school night scheduled for Thursday, April 21. Hours will be 7 to 10:30 p.m.
Club information: Soon available on Facebook and Twitter.
JANESVILLE The owner of a teen dance club set to open Friday hopes it answers the time-worn complaint of kids: "There's nothing to do."
Donta Evans plans to serve kids from middle school through age 20—although not on the same nights—at Decisions, 18-24 River St.
The 8,000-square-foot building is most well known as the former Krause's Town & Country, although several bars in recent years have operated at the location. Capacity is 300.
Evans has been busy painting and remodeling and installing new sound and light systems.
He said the club will combine his passion for kids and a dream of owning a business. He lives in Beloit but plans to move to Janesville.
The 33-year-old has worked with kids for 13 years, first with the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville and most recently as in-school suspension supervisor at Franklin Middle School in Janesville.
He said he's had a vision for a teen club for many years, and now a friend is investing in his dream and helping him market the enterprise.
Evans also plans to rent space for banquets and parties.
For kids, Evans plans a "mega club" with disc jockeys and three rooms offering different music, including hip hop, techno dance, alternative and pop.
Police have blamed certain kinds of music for causing problems in some bars, but Evans believes the cause of those problems was alcohol, not the music. His customers are not of drinking age.
Evans also will offer quiet space for interactive gaming and laptops.
"Every child should be able to find something, somewhere to go," Evans said. "We want everyone feeling comfortable coming in.
"It is something that is really needed in the area," Evans said.
He sees kids late at night walking around Walmart, hanging at all-night restaurants, loitering in parking lots and cruising the strip. He wants kids to "bring that energy into the club and have a good time."
Evans will be open for high school-aged kids on Fridays, people aged 18 to 20 on Saturdays and middle school-aged kids on Thursdays in summer and when school is closed on Fridays during the school year.
Evans might open weekday afternoons during the summer so kids can hang out. He is planning seminars on life skills and character development.
Evans said his No. 1 priority is safety.
The kids must consider it a privilege to enter and enjoy themselves in a fun, safe environment, Evans said.
Customers must show a valid school or state ID to enter. Anyone who causes problems will be banned. Precautions will include a metal detector and a surveillance system. Anyone causing trouble will be photographed, and parents will be told why their child is banned from the club.
Kids smelling of alcohol or suspected of using drugs will be turned away. Teens will not be allowed to come and go throughout the night and will not be allowed to reenter if they leave.
For security, Evans will hire off-duty police and military people, who also will patrol the parking lots to discourage loitering.
A dress code will be enforced, and Evans expects those attending to be clean and properly dressed, with collared shirts, no plain T-shirts and no sagging jeans.
Evans has scheduled open houses for parents to see the building and hear his rules.
Teen clubs have opened and closed in the past in Janesville, and Evans is determined to make his a success.
He said he'll work with kids to offer what they want. That could include talent shows, pajama parties and battles of the bands.
"I believe in kids," Evans said. "That's just my passion. I know they can come out and have a great time."
Why the name "Decisions?"
"There are so many decisions in life you have to make, whether good or bad," Evans said. "I was just trying to come up with what kids have to deal with."