New Teen Spaces Open In Somerville For Fall & Winter 2022
City Search for Permanent Somerville Teen Center Prioritizing Feedback from Local Teenagers via Design, Engineering and Innovation Lab (DEILab) students
Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City of Somerville are pleased to share new teen spaces and updates on the search for a permanent Somerville teen center, building on a successful opening of temporary teen spaces during Summer 2022.
Mayor Ballantyne’s administration has prioritized creating Somerville teen spaces, which provide space for teens to relax and socialize, as well as events and activities, connections to services, and access to City social workers, as youth and teens continue to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sites are operated through the Somerville Public Schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Somerville Public Libraries.
“As a mother of a teenager myself, I know the importance of creating safe, engaging spaces for teens to relax, seek support, or just get some homework help,” said Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “Our temporary teen spaces for fall and winter 2022, as well as our teen-internship led search for a permanent teen center, are important steps to learning how to shape a space that serves the diverse needs of teenagers navigating today’s world.”
“As the City Council representative on Somerville’s Children’s Cabinet, and as a mom of children in the school district, I have heard loud and clear that our teenagers are calling for more places in the city where they can hang out and just be," said Somerville Councilor at Large Kristen Strezo. "I’m grateful to Mayor Ballantyne and to all who worked so hard to ensure our youngest residents can thrive in the post-pandemic recovery and beyond.”
Edgerly Education Center
- Over summer 2022, the Edgerly Education Center was repurposed to use as a temporary Teen Space. The space was open from July 5, 2022, through September 1, 2022.
- The space was reopened on November 1, 2022, by the Somerville Parks and Recreation department.
- This fall, teens can drop in to enjoy a furnished game room, smart TVs, music, a DJ area, computers and free afternoon meal programming on weekdays from 2:30-8pm, and 12:30 pm, on early release days.
Art Haus at Powderhouse Circle Committee Room
- Art Haus, located in the Powderhouse Field House and operated by Parks & Recreation and Matisse Dupont, serves as a space focused on serving LGBTQ+ youth and allies.
- Theater programming is offered on Mondays and Fridays from 6-8pm. Parks and Recreation will also have programming at the site on Tuesdays from 3-5pm.
- Two special events will take place every month, with movie and roller-skating events planned for the next month.
- This space will be operational from October 2022-May 2023 and has adequate HVAC for the winter months.
While the Administration is operating these temporary teen spaces right now, work is also underway with teens to identify suitable spaces and programming for a future dedicated Teen Center.
Teen Center Internships
- A teen internship program composed of Design, Engineering and Innovation Lab (DEILab) students to formalize teen input in the planning process for a permanent Teen Center has been established with guidance from Somerville’s Parks and Rec and Economic Development teams. The interns are actively working and are compensated $15.96 per hour for their work.
- The teen interns visit potential teen center spaces and provide feedback, work with Parks and Rec staff at the temporary spaces located at the Edgerly and Powderhouse to understand and evaluate current programming and meet with the larger DEILab group to debrief and gather input on what they have learned.
- The group will share their recommendations this winter
Once the City receives the recommendations from the Teen Center internship program, it will use them to help identify a permanent home for a dedicated Teen Center, details of which will be announced when ready.
Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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