“We are finding that young people and seniors are dealing with many of the same issues,” he said. “They have free time, lack of discretionary income, losses in their lives. There are a lot of similarities.”
Tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 16, Fahey working with the senior center staff has planned an intergenerational kayaking trip for the town’s older and younger residents, either on Pomps Pond or the Shawsheen River.
“Seniors can do whatever they put their minds to,” he said. “There is a very powerful relationship between seniors and youth. Seniors can teach the young people and young people can teach the seniors.”
“This won’t be a place where kids are just hanging out,” he said. “They will be doing stuff and creating stuff.”
Perkins, standing next to a pile of crushed stone, said the community will be happy about the final outcome.
“After all this time, the town will find it’s been worth the wait,” he said.
Some notable features of the new youth center:
The building will have a 1,000-square-foot shop where kids can work on art projects such as sculptures or wooden kayaks.
A multipurpose room will have a moveable stage with built-in lighting and sound system as well as good acoustics for performances.
A full kitchen will be available for hot meals and will also serve as a culinary center where kids can hone their cooking skills.
The gym will be 8,900 square feet, making it the second largest gym in Andover after the field house at Andover High School, and will be large enough so that it can be split in half with a curtain to allow for two activities to occur simultaneously.
A cardio-fitness room can double as a dance studio or place for Zumba and other fitness classes.
Classroom space will be available for tutoring as well as computer courses.
A TV-music studio will allow all ages to make music videos or produce TV shows. Bands will also be able to record their own CDs.