The proposed Fitchburg Teen Center seems to be a sticking point for the Common Council.

The Mayor’s Proposed Capital Improvement Plan most recently demonstrated this by pushing the Teen Center project back from 2022 to 2030. However, several reports have concluded the existing -– not future — need for a community space dedicated to teens in this area.

In 2017, the Anton Drive Redevelopment Plan identified the need for a community center at Verona Road West, a neighborhood identified as a priority neighborhood by the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative in 2019. In 2020, a devastating pandemic gripped the globe which leads me to ask -– how has the pandemic impacted the youth in this neighborhood? Youth who have already been identified as a priority, as being in need?

A community engagement study, scheduled to take place this summer, will assess this need in greater detail and illuminate a way forward for the Teen Center.

We should be supporting this project and pushing it forward instead of holding it back.

In light of the existing need of our community’s youth, I urge the Common Council to prioritize the Fitchburg Teen Center in the Capital Improvement Plan and encourage Fitchburg residents to call on their alder and email council (council& today!

Katie Tredinnick


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