Youth Center Opening Delayed By Covid-19 Spike

Dignitaries participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Franklin Township Youth Center on Aug. 15, 2019. (File photo.)

A spike in the incidence of township residents contracting the coronavirus has delayed the opening of the township’s youth center on Lewis Street.

The 24,000-square-foot, $9.8 million youth center was expected to be open by the end of this month.

Official shad planned “soft openings” for October 1 and 2, but Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At large) said at the September 28 Township Council meeting that that plan was scrapped because of the uptick in coronavirus cases.

“With Delta variant uptake, we decided we will postpone the soft opening of the youth center,” she said. “As of now, we don’t have soft or grand opening date.”

“Construction is completed,” said Francois, who has championed the project for years. “The state has to inspect the fire alarm and the elevator, and there are a couple of punch list items.”

She said that in the meantime, “we are transferring some virtual programs so that when we are ready to open the youth center, we will have these programs up and running. We’re also taking memberships in the high school and the middle school.”

“We feel like we’ve waited this long to have it open, we’ll have a grand opening, everybody will be happy,” Francois said. “We’ll have the furniture there, programs will be up and running. Everybody just needs to be a little patient.”

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