The Andover Youth Foundation presented the Board of Selectmen with an oversized check for almost $2 million Monday night, which should allow construction on the teen center to begin next month.
Diane Costagliola, chairwoman of the Youth Foundation, thanked selectmen and other town officials for their support in pushing the project forward.
“Thank you for your help and assistance,” she said. “I’d like to thank all the people who came before us and many others whose hearts have been in this, but most importantly Bill Fahey.”
Fahey, who was on hand Monday night for the ceremonial event, said the teen center has been a long time coming.
“I’ve been standing in this meeting room for the last 20 years now,” he said. “We’re excited to make this project a reality and build a building in the next year.”
Tom Watkins, the town purchasing agent, said the contract has been sent to Dagle Electric Construction Corp. of Woburn, which won the low bid to build the center.
“We sent it off to them on Friday, we should get it back in the next day or two,” Watkins said. “Then they are ready to get mobilized on-site. They are set to start Dec. 1.”
The teen center is being paid for through a combination of public and privately raised funds, including about $2.8 million from the Andover Youth Foundation and $2.7 million from the town.
In addition to the $1.9 million handed over by the Youth Foundation this week, the group has already spent $857,000 getting the site ready for the installation of the foundation and structure.
The project has taken so long to build because it has been through numerous funding and location changes. In particular, the entire project originally was to be built with private money at the site of West Middle School.