FERGUSON, Mo. – The Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis will break ground on a $12.4 million Teen Center of Excellence in Ferguson on September 13.

It’s being built where the former Ferguson Ponderosa once was.

The Teen Center of Excellence is one of the first in the country. It will be 26,856 square feet and have three levels, a nutrition education center, outdoor garden, gym, intellectual commons, teen lounge, auditorium, outdoor basketball and activity court, music and art studio, office space and maker space.

The center will offer afterschool and summer programs for teens and youth ages 12 to 18 in the north county area.

“Opening a Teen Center in the Ferguson area will produce positive outcomes in a community that has been challenged with difficult realities and negative images. Adding a successful youth focused organization into Ferguson like Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which has a long track record of success, can bolster young people’s attitudes and help them navigate a path to success,” the marketing and communications vice president said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Roy Blunt, Honorable Congressman William “Lacy” Clay, Missouri 1st District, St. Louis County Executive, Steve Stenger, Mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis President Dr. Flint Fowler and Board Members/Funders/Supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis will break ground on the center on at 10:30 a.m. on September 13.