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Andover youth center project finally slated to begin

An electronic rendering of the future gym at the Andover Youth Center.
An electronic rendering of the future gym at the Andover Youth Center. Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc

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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.

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