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ANDOVER — In 1994, following the suicides of three Andover students, the town embarked on a quest to prevent future tragedies and concluded that teenagers needed a place to call their own.
The town hired William Fahey to lead efforts to build a teen center and, in the interim, develop a program for local youths. In its first year, the initiative attracted about 300 teenagers, Fahey said. Today, Andover Youth Services is an award-winning program that serves 4,000 middle and high school students annually.
Despite the program’s steady growth, a series of roadblocks stymied plans for a youth center for the better part of two decades, Fahey said. The major issues: Funding and identifying a suitable site.
But at last, construction crews are preparing to lay the foundation for a 21,000-square-foot municipal center on Whittier Court, behind the Doherty Middle School.