Rev. John Allen stands in the planned teen center.

The after school drop-in center for middle school students is on target to open this fall although several significant steps still need to be taken.

The center will be situated in walk-out basement space being renovated at the First Congregational Church, and according to the Rev. John Allen of the church on Canton Avenue, a lot of preparations have been completed in advance and the actual construction is set to begin in the near future.

A lease is expected to be signed soon in which the church will offer the renovated space to the town for no rent but with a minimal payment to cover utilities, Rev. Allen said.

The town will be responsible for operating the program.

The position of coordinator for the center was posted on July 11.

The town plans to have the center open from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Monday to Thursday for middle school students, many of whom now flood a limited space set aside for youths at Milton Public Library.

“Our goal all along has been to open as close to the beginning of school as we can,” Allen said on July 17. “We think it's still realistic.”

He said the congregation has shown solid support for the center since a vote was taken to hold a capital campaign and members are excited to have the new space available for their own use as well.

In February, the church set out to raise $400,000 and has received pledges of $450,000, mostly from church members, friends, and a few from the community at large, said Allen.

The church has hired the Haynes Group, Inc. of West Bridgewater to do the design and construction work on the section of the building that was constructed in 2001.

For the rest of the story pick up the print issue of the Milton Times July 25 or subscribe to our e-edition at

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