[Update: A new press release (see below) from the Brookline Teen Center indicates that they intend to open in the 2013-2014 school year. They have also gathered 25 potential interns for the project from Brookline High School.
Oct. 29, 5:41 p.m.]
A teen-focused project moves another step closer to reality, now that construction began earlier this week.
The Brookline Teen Center, which has been in the works since 2005, broke ground at their 40 Aspinwall Avenue location according to a report from Brookline Hub yesterday afternoon.
A Brookline High School alum took the helm of the , was tasked with overseeing the construction and opening of the Center. Cooney took over for interim Executive Director Tom Mendelsohn, who had been running things since 2010.
Last October, the Teen Center received a $4 million line of credit from Brookline Bank to help build the facility. Some promised features at the Teen Center include a music and recording studio, a two-lane bowling alley and an academic center.
In 2005, Brookline High School Social Worker Paul Epstein, and his wife Saskia, had a dream to create a safe place where Brookline teens could go after school to learn and hang out. This Brookline Teen Center plans to be teen-driven and -powered. Since 2006, interns have helped with the many facets of building a center like this. A Brookline teen also sits on the Board of Directors.
The following is a press release from the Brookline Teen Center:
Brookline Teen Center Construction Begins
40 Aspinwall Avenue saw some activity last week as heavy equipment from Kaplan Construction, a Brookline-based company, began work on the Brookline Teen Center. The decision to move forward with construction was reached after careful consideration by the board. While the elevator tower takes shape on the exterior, the BTC is continuing to focus on raising the funds needed to fully realize this incredible vision.
The capital fundraising campaign will continue throughout construction. Because of the generosity of early donors, a bridge loan from Brookline Bank, and longtime relationship with the Brookline Community Foundation, the BTC has been able to take these important steps forward.
According to BTC executive director Matthew Cooney, “The board members and I recognize the significant amount of work yet to be done as we work toward a goal of opening during the 2013-2014 school year.”
This 12,000 square facility will offer a wide range of opportunities to engage a broad spectrum of Brookline teens. In tandem with capital development and building construction, the BTC has launched a new teen intern program to ensure continued input from the people who will benefit most. More than 25 BHS students have come forward as potential interns, with the program beginning officially on November 1st. Teen interns from schools outside of BHS are also being recruited (more info at BrooklineTeenCenter.org)
The teen interns, along with BTC’s numerous community partnerships, will play a vital role in program development. Over the next few months the BTC will continue to expand outreach to other interested individuals and stakeholders to ensure that it is able to offer a full range of opportunities to engage students in grades 7th-12th.