Chicago officials break ground on new BUILD community center in South Austin

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Thursday, August 12, 2021
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It's a big day for a community organization that works to support and lift up young people on Chicago's West Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new community center is coming to South Austin to continue to support and teach young people in the community.

Crews broke ground Thursday on a new 51,000 square-foot facility in the 5100-block of West Harrison Street. The $20 million community center will house art and music studios, a basketball gym, a game room, a mental health center and more.

The organization BUILD is behind the campaign leading the city in gang intervention, violence prevention and mental health.

"We want to expose young people to all the potential opportunities they have," said Adam Alonso with BUILD. "Mental health, the way that we do it here, it is as normal as shooting pool, being at the farm, doing your homework, hanging with your friends, you saw your therapist and you are back at it again. Nothing abnormal about any of that. All of us need support and we are here as a team collectively to do that for our young people."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Congressman Danny Davis were on hand for the groundbreaking.

Work is scheduled to begin on the facility next month and it is supposed to be completed next year.