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    Committee requests two-phase construction for youth center

    The Andover Youth Center Building Committee has submitted two warrant articles for the annual Town Meeting, which is scheduled to begin May 6. One article would allow officials to complete the construction project in two phases, with much of the programming and proposed uses accommodated in the first phase of the project. The other article would allow the building to be shifted north by 35 feet to ensure the footprint of the youth center falls outside of the 50-foot wetlands buffer zone, as required by the Andover Conservation Commission. The Andover Youth Center Building Committee is an advisory group that was created to oversee the design and construction of the youth center to be built near Doherty Middle School. Town Meeting voters in December 2011 approved $2 million to fund a new, 20,000-square-foot youth center with a gym, multipurpose space, kitchen, classrooms, and offices. The Andover Youth Foundation guaranteed a match of $2.2 million, bringing total funding for the design and construction of the youth center to $4.2 million. Additional funding would be needed to complete both phases of the project. Phase 1 costs are expected to total $3.45 million; Phase 2 is expected to cost $1.35 million. If the project receives Town Meeting approval and all necessary permits and approvals from town boards, construction is expected to begin this summer.