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Bridgeport breaks ground on its third youth center

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Davis Dunavin
WSHU Public Radio
Governor Ned Lamont, hard hat raised, breaks ground on the new Boys and Girls Club location in Bridgeport with other city and state officials.

Bridgeport has broken ground on a $24 million community center for kids. The center will be run by the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club, and will be the third of its kind in Bridgeport.

“In 15 months, this construction zone will be transformed into a 44,000-square-foot jewel for the community, a hub to inspire and support our children’s academic success, character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles,” said Sean Sullivan, chair of the club’s board of trustees.

It will include a preschool, performing arts studio and workshops for science projects, along with other services for kids and teenagers.

This comes as the state General Assembly is considering bills that would toughen laws around juvenile crimes. Some research has shown Boys And Girls’ Clubs and other community violence intervention programs reduce juvenile crime and drug use.

Governor Ned Lamont said the center would help both kids and parents.

“Give those kids the very best start in life and allow Mom and Dad to get back to work. And that’s licensed pre-school; that also means after school. A lot of things go on right after school. Mom and Dad may be still working; don’t go back to an empty house — go home to the Boys and Girls’ Club right here,” Lamont said.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.