Work underway at new Cohoes Connect Center for Youth | WNYT.com
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Work underway at new Cohoes Connect Center for Youth

Kumi Tucker
Updated: December 01, 2020 07:01 PM
Created: December 01, 2020 06:06 PM

COHOES - A lot of work is being done at the Good Ground Family Church, formerly St. Agnes Church. The new Connect Center for Youth is a huge building filled with things like a STEAM lab and computer room under construction. 

Executive Director Ben Williams gave a tour of the work to new Cohoes Police Chief Todd Waldin.  

"There are going to be theater components," said Williams. "There's a black box theater going in downstairs. And then there's also a tech lab going in downstairs, where kids will be able to learn coding and networking and drones-- anything nerdy, really!"
 
There's a commercial kitchen for learning and catering. Williams also worked as a chef for six years. 

Work is underway on a full-service music studio. The crew is part of "Grace in Action" from Grace Fellowship Church. 

"We really want to make this a place where kids can come, feel safe, and work their way up and get connected to a passion and have it become a career for them," said Williams.  

Upstairs will feature a basketball court, fitness space, and study rooms. 

"Funding has been blood, sweat, and tears, up to now," said Williams. "We don't have any major donors, any major grants. It's really been a labor of love, very similar to how the original St. Agnes building was built."

Supporters say the project might be even more important after the Cohoes Community Center closed. 

Most programming at the Connect Center will be geared to young people, but Williams hopes it will affect the entire community. 

Supporters say this could be part of the answer to the repeated calls for more for young people to do. 

"We see this on a daily basis in our community and in the surrounding areas where everyone always asks, what is there for young people to do? Especially when you have some sort of violent crime that takes place that involves younger people," said Cohoes Police Chief Todd Waldin. "Well here, we have somebody with the vision to actually get something done and to actually bring young people in and to give them an alternative, to keep them off the streets, and to make the community better."

The bottom level of the Connect Center could be open as early as the beginning of next year. 



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