Island Wide Youth Collaborative breaks new ground

From left, MVCS program coordinator Susan Mercier, MVCS board member John Kennedy, MVCS Executive Director Julie Fay, Youth Task Force's Theresa Manning, YMCA executive director Jill Robie, MV Youth executive director Lindsey Scott, and MVCS Director of Operations Nell Coogan break ground at the site of the new youth center. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC), an organization recently formed to serve the mental health and substance-abuse issues of young Islanders, will soon have a home. On Tuesday afternoon, Julie Fay, executive director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), presided over the groundbreaking for the new IWYC center on the MVCS campus, on Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road.

The gray skies opened shortly after the ceremonial gold shovels were placed in the ground, and Ms. Fay kept her remarks brief.

“We are without a doubt the beneficiaries of MVYouth,” Ms. Fay said, giving special recognition to Dan Stanton and Jim Swartz, the co-founders of MVYouth.

Ms. Fay also gave kudos to Squash Meadow Construction President Bill Potter. “When Bill came by, five of us were walking around, trying to figure out where this building should go. He told us that the building should go right here, and since then, he took us under his wing and got us through the long permitting process.”

Squash Meadow Construction had already begun work on the center, which is expected to be complete by Oct. 31. The $620,000 cost will be funded by a grant from MVYouth.

The IWYC Center will provide a variety of services for children, adolescents, and young adults from ages 9 to 26 with mental health and substance-abuse issues, as well as their parents. The 2,400-square-foot IWYC Center will contain offices, a large group space, and a community kitchen.