Kick for The Green @ UTEC in downtown Lowell

LOWELL – Construction of UTEC’s outdoor event space began last month at the agency’s headquarters in downtown Lowell, paving the way for the development of land that will be used to host community events , support jobs for young adults and create space for childcare at the agency center.

When complete, The Green @ UTEC will offer 7,500 square feet of newly landscaped park space, along with sidewalks and curbs along Hurd and Warren streets, according to UTEC CEO Gregg Croteau.

The space will be used to host public events and support the employment of young adults at UTEC through their food service program and event management work.

UTEC employees, from left to right, Yesenia Ruiz, deputy director of the organization, Joy Robinson, head of the organizational program Francellis Quinones, head of the culinary business program Kassandra Berzins, street worker Indra Cruz , CEO Gregg Croteau, street worker Jonathan Cruz and director of transition coaching Anthony Ellis, at The Green @ UTEC, a larger green space under construction. SUN / Julia Malakie

“Part of our job is to really make sure we have employment opportunities for young adults and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen the community,” said Croteau. “This project fits perfectly into these two areas. “

According to Croteau, the new space will also provide an outdoor play area for children of UTEC parents as part of the agency’s daycare.

The project also has the potential to attract new development projects to the region, Croteau said.

“This helps us to offer more employment opportunities to young adults, as they can now be employed in our catering company, which also takes care of event management, which allows us to have more ‘jobs for our young adults for our staff as well,’ said Croteau. “So this is an economic development initiative, both for UTEC and for the community, as we are improving a key space in downtown Lowell in partnership with the city.

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall. Lemon Brooke landscape architectural firm designed the project.

The funding comes from a grant of nearly $ 1.1 million from the MassWorks Infrastructure Grants Program of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, in partnership with MassDevelopment.

According to Croteau, UTEC is still raising the final $ 150,000 needed to complete the project. Those interested in supporting UTEC can do so by visiting utecinc.org/le-vert.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

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