Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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April 16, 2013

Teen center takes long and windy road

(Continued)

So teens decided to take matters into their own hands. 1961, a new teen center was set to open in the grange next to West Parish Church. Local youths raised $500 to install bathrooms and the town promised to install heating. But due to the lack of an occupancy permit, they never got to use the people. Yet again, there was nowhere to go.

In 1970, the old fire house was being used as a teen drop-in center. However, that same year, the building was torn down despite the best efforts of students, who collected 2,300 signatures on petitions seeking to block the demolition.

To avoid a massive walk-out students had planned in protest of the demolition, town officials promised to find an alternate site for the drop-in center. Despite that vow, it seemed like a teen center would be forever out of reach for the hopeful youth of Andover.

Next week: Andover youths fight for a home.

Rachel Christ, a senior at Andover High School, is a volunteer at the Andover Historical Society.

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