The Capitol West Boys and Girls Club, 567 W. 300 North, opened a new teen center Friday.

The center will provide a safe place for Salt Lake's teens to gather and spend time after school."The center was built because kids need a place. An institution is being friendly for them. For a lot of teenagers, this room is their only living room," said Fernando Vargas, unit director of the Capitol West Boys and Girls Club.

Vargas said the new facility will provide an opportunity for teens to meet people of various backgrounds. The club provides homework assistance, tutoring, job training, opportunities for leadership and recreation.

Funding for the project was provided by American Automobile As-so-ci-a-tion of Utah. The organization works with several community organizations to provide funding for special projects such as the new teen center.

"The Boys and Girls Clubs have an excellent tradition of guiding young people through their teenage years, an often confusing time," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokeswoman. "AAA Utah is proud to join in this effort and make a positive contribution to the community."

Vargas said the club wanted to build a teen center for a long time and with the contributions of AAA Utah, it is now a reality.

The Capitol West location is the second of five Boys and Girls Clubs to build the teen center, the first being the Sugar House club.

Children from the ages of 6 to 17 can join the Boys and Girls Club for an annual membership fee of $10. Around 85 children visit the Capitol West club daily for various activities.