The state Senate has agreed to put $200,000 in the current state budget toward a Methuen Youth and Community Center.
Sen. Diana DiZoglio asked for the budget is an amendment, calling the establishment of a formal youth and community center in the City of Methuen one of her top priorities.
In support of the goal, DoZoglio also completed a 159-mile March Across Massachusetts this fall to raise awareness and support for the project. She noted that Methuen is among the few communities in the Merrimack Valley that does not have such a center like many surrounding cities and towns.
“We still have quite a ways to go. However, these critical funds will bring us one step closer to making the dream of a Methuen Youth and Community Center a reality,” said DiZoglio. “Together, we will provide our youth with mentorship opportunities and social and emotional learning to inspire them to pursue their unique talents and reach their goals.”
The local nonprofit Inspirational Ones, in collaboration with Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen, started the project aimed at expanding learning experiences and career opportunities with a focus on engaging underserved youth. The Youth Advisory Council Methuen Youth—or My Voice—is participating.
Last month, the Methuen School Committee voted to approve using the former Pleasant Valley School on Pleasant Valley Street for a Methuen Youth and Community Center.
Beyond this, DiZoglio earlier secured another $200,000 in state funds to initiate the program and $1 million in a recent economic development bill toward the capital campaign. The previous $200,000 is currently at work in coordination with Methuen schools, while the $1 million bond and $200,000 amendment still require approval from Gov. Charlie Baker.