$5 million teen center to be built as part of MaliVai Washington Youth Campus expansion

Teen center looks forward to expansion

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The city of Jacksonville and a local youth foundation are partnering on a $5 million teen center.

The new, 12,000-square-foot building will be the latest addition to the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation Campus in Durkeeville.

The city of Jacksonville is essentially donating the land for the center, and the foundation has already raised more than half the funds.

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Executive Director Terri Florio believes it will serve 150 teens in the end.

It is expected to include access to elective courses, a teaching kitchen, financial literacy and career courses and SAT prep.

“It will certainly provide more opportunities for those youth that want to do well and more opportunities for them to do well,” said Florio.

The goal is to break ground on the teen center in the spring ahead of an opening in early 2020.

Paxon High School senior Shateria Davis says the MaliVai​​​​​​​ Washington Youth Center changed her life.

“They taught me everything, from schooling to maturing to just becoming me,” she said.