This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Spy Hop Productions the media education organization that teaches teens how to create film, music, video games and more is moving into a new home in August.
The nonprofit will take up temporary residence for two years in the School Improvement Network building at 669 S. West Temple, the former site of the Mark Miller car dealership, in downtown Salt Lake City. During that time, a new facility will built in the city's Central 9th district, at 900 South and 200 West.
The West Temple location "is a dynamic and supportive environment and, most importantly, a safe space for our students," Spy Hop program director Matt Mateus said in a statement.
Safety has become an issue at Spy Hop's location for the past eight years, in the Artspace Bridges Project at 500 West and 200 South, in the Rio Grande neighborhood. The area, south of The Gateway shopping center, has become a central gathering place for the city's homeless population.
"We no longer felt the Rio Grande location was viable as a safe place for youth," said Kasandra VerBrugghen, Spy Hop's executive director.
"More and more parents are expressing concern for the safety of their children and a reluctance to bring them into the neighborhood," Mateus said.
The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency recently awarded Spy Hop a chance to develop RDA-owned land in the Central 9th district. Spy Hop's new center there scheduled to open in fall 2018 will include expanded programming space, and a community event and performance venue.
"Not only has Spy Hop outgrown its current space, but the organization is at a point in its development where a permanent home will support its long-term programmatic goals and ensure sustainability for years to come," VerBrugghen said.
Spy Hop's current summer classes will take place in alternate locations in July, while the organization moves into the West Temple location. Starting August 1, classes will resume there.