Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Mayor Toni Harp and other state and local elected officials, today announced that the state will assist the City of New Haven in funding the construction of the new "Q" House community center, which was left unoccupied for the last decade and fell into disrepair. Until it closed its doors in 2003, the "Q" House was an important part of the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods going back to the 1920s, offering after-school programs for the disadvantaged young people of the city and a safe environment free of drugs, alcohol and bullying.
"Sadly, the Q House has stood empty for too long and was allowed to become blighted. The state is happy to help kick-start the process of constructing a new Q House which I hope will be just the first step in revitalizing Dixwell, Newhallville and the surrounding neighborhoods," said Governor Malloy. "This is not just an investment in the construction of a new building. It also represents an investment in an after-school option that offers a safe environment and stable foundation outside of the school system that is necessary to give our children a brighter future and help them grow into successful adults."
The State Bond Commission at its last meeting on February 28 approved $1 million to conduct the planning and design work necessary for demolition of the existing structure and the construction of a new building to house the community center. The funding was placed on the Bond Commission agenda by Governor Malloy at the request of New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who said revitalizing the "Q" House has been one of her priorities since walking through the area last summer and seeing the needs of the community and its residents.
"Our vision for a vibrant community center in the next-generation Dixwell Q House is now one step closer as a result of state funding announced today -- I'm grateful to Governor Malloy and members of the State Bond Commission for their support of this New Haven initiative," Mayor Toni N. Harp said. "With ready access to a safe and supportive Q House environment our hope is young people will harness their creative and productive energy, grow as individuals, and help shape a vibrant New Haven for the future."
"A new Dixwell Q House will provided vital educational, recreational and community programs for residents of all ages and continue its legacy of strengthening our neighborhoods," said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). "I want to thank Governor Malloy, Mayor Harp, the Board of Alders and the countless concerned citizens that worked so hard to make the dream of reopening the Q House closer to reality."
"The Dixwell Q House was once a place where the people of New Haven came together as a community," said State Senator Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven). "The building was closed to the detriment of the youth of New Haven. With the revitalization of the Q House our children with benefit with an updated Q House that will meet the needs of the community. Children and adults will enjoy the branch of the New Haven Free Public Library and a neighborhood cultural center. This investment into the Q will return it to the symbol of community togetherness it once was."
"Safe places like community centers are incredibly important in steering youth down the right path, and with this funding our community will gain another after-school resource for New Haven students," said State Representative Toni Walker (D-New Haven). "I would like to thank Governor Malloy and Mayor Harp for understanding the need for a place like Q House to be open, and serving the community, once again."
The construction project will begin the process of turning the now-vacant neighborhood icon into a new facility to serve the people of Dixwell and Newhallville. Once completed, the "Q" House is expected to include a neighborhood cultural center, a branch of the New Haven Free Public Library and the Cornell-Scott Hill Community Health Center.