By NHBR Staff
New Hampshire Business Review
MPAL’s transformation is underway
Volunteers gather for $1 million ‘extreme makeover’ of inner city youth center
Hundreds of volunteers from across New Hampshire are in the middle of transforming the Manchester Police Athletic League’s Michael Briggs Community Center into a facility worthy of its mission – providing a safe and positive afterschool environment available to inner-city youth.
The volunteers, who are from Building on Hope, an organization that includes designers, architects and builders that renovates deserving nonprofit facilities, are in the midst of a $1 million, 10-day “extreme makeover” of the MPAL facility. Work is scheduled to be completed, and a grand re-opening held, on Sunday, May 22.
On Monday, the official groundbreaking ceremony was held at the MPAL facility, is Building on Hope’s largest undertaking yet.
At the groundbreaking, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, representatives from U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s offices, volunteers and supporters celebrated the official groundbreaking and Building on Hope’s mantra, “many hands make light work.”
“It is critically important that we continue to provide opportunities for children in New Hampshire to engage socially, physically and intellectually,” stated Governor Maggie Hassan’s proclamation of May 2016 as Building on Hope Month. “I urge all citizens to recognize the important work of this organization and follow its efforts in working to build stronger and more inclusive communities in New Hampshire.”
For nearly a year, Building on Hope organized volunteers and solicited donations from dozens of businesses to help with the renovation.
“Taking on a project of this scale has been intimidating at times, but the outpouring of support from the community is truly moving and we’re proud to support an organization that has such a positive impact on the community,” said Jonathan Halle, co-chair of Building on Hope.
Volunteers have already contributed to renovations in the first phase of construction which included installing a new HVAC system, demolition of the interior, installation of new electric wiring, walls, floors, a $25,000 kitchen remodel and more. With the support of Building on Hope, local businesses and donors, volunteers will complete the final phase of the 16,500-square-foot building’s overhaul, and will have the chance to aid in transforming the Michael Briggs Community Center into a state-of-the-art, 17-room facility that will improve the reality of Manchester’s inner-city youth.
“Our aspirations for the Michael Briggs Community Center have been completely exceeded thanks to the vision and resources of Building on Hope,” said David Mara, Chairman of MPAL. “They will take this small community center and turn it into a beacon of hope for the youth of the City of Manchester.”