CanTeen to have new, permanent home

Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-North Syracuse) and Friends of the CanTeen, Inc., announced Thursday Jan. 21 that they have secured $287,000 to purchase, renovate and convert a private residence into a teen center -- the CanTeen.

Stirpe presented a check for $250,000 to the Friends of the CanTeen, Inc., at the Cicero-North Syracuse High School library. More than 50 kids who utilize the CanTeen were in attendance with several local government officials and other community supporters.

The new CanTeen will be located on Route 31 adjacent to Cicero North Syracuse High School.Funding to purchase the home was awarded through the Community Capital Assistance Program. In addition, Friends of the CanTeen raised funds from private donors and a large contribution was made in the name of Kaitlin Kozlowski, who enjoyed spending time at the CanTeen. Kozlowski was a junior at Cicero North Syracuse when she died in a car accident in 2005.

"The state, county, and the towns of Cicero, Clay, Salina and the Village of North Syracuse have provided invaluable funding for the CanTeen since day one," Stirpe said. "But its individuals -- people who have opened up their pocketbooks and volunteered their time and talents -- that have kept this great program afloat."

Stirpe said this was the "best way to spend funding" during this economic climate.

The new CanTeen will undergo extensive renovations. Volunteers and building professionals will add handicap ramps and sidewalks to the property, widen doorways, renovate existing bathrooms and remove walls to open up the home. The property is also situated on the lot so that it can be expanded in the future should the need arise.The new location will reduce the cost of busing paid for by the North Syracuse Central School District. The home is a short walk from Cicero North Syracuse High School allowing students to reach the facility without crossing any major roadway.

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