CHELSEA — Teens living in NYCHA housing in Chelsea will get a $1.5 million technology center and recording studio this fall, according to Hudson Guild head Ken Jockers.
The ground-level tech studio will be housed at 418 W. 17th St. in the Fulton Houses, Jockers told the Community Board 4 Land Use Committee meeting Monday. It will be fitted with laptops and tablets for practicing technology skills, and two staffers will work with groups of 20 young people, as well as adults in need of employment skills.
The space will also include a small music recording studio where kids can lay down their own tracks, Jockers said. The program hopes to engage teens living in the Fulton and Chelsea-Elliot Houses.
"Our experience has been that it's important to have a combination of fun and recreational things along with the deep dive academic [programs]," he said at the meeting.
The 1,320-square-foot space is leased for five years, Jockers said. Construction will begin before the end of the summer and last 12 to 14 weeks, after which they should be ready to open their doors, he said.
"We are hoping that by late fall, we'll be able to start to have programming in the space," he said.
Funding for the program will come from a 2012 rezoning agreement that allowed developers Jamestown Properties to expand Chelsea Market. In exchange, they agreed to support Hudson Guild's proposed technology program to the tune of $1.5 million, city documents show. The majority of the funding, $700,000, will go to programming, and is expected to last four years. The developer also agreed to pay up to $350,000 for construction and outfitting of the program space.
Hudson Guild will raise funds to extend the program after Jamestown's funding runs out, Jockers said.