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Big expansions at Burlington's King Street Center - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Big expansions at Burlington's King Street Center

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

No one is a stranger in the King Street neighborhood in Burlington. Peggy Curtis has been greeting kids at the King Street Center for over a decade. The organization has been located on King Street for the past 20 years. It helps hundreds of families annually, getting them into health and educational programming. Like 10-year-old Misky Noor, who's been a King Street kid since she was 3.

"I get my homework done faster and it gives me time to talk with my friends," Misky said.

This 10,000-square-foot building is being torn to the ground and replaced with a 20,000-square-foot facility, with a price tag of $4.5 million.

"We'll have below-grade space, a first-level, a full second story and an open rooftop play space," said Vicky Smith, the executive director at the King Street Center. "We did we did a tremendous amount of research and homework to determine where we should be located."

Smith says it's location is perfect-- close to schools and the library. But the new building is long overdue. This one-time typewriter factory has major problems. It's bursting at the seams with kids and has a number of issues, including ventilation problems and water leaks.

"It is worn and frayed, but the way we are programming the building does not allow us to provide the services in the way we need too," Smith said.

The new building will include a performing arts space and access to more technology. The biggest challenge the center faces is helping kids who are struggling in school.

"This is an example of a room that's challenging with children," Smith said. "It's crowed with furniture. There's no color, no light at all, there are no windows."

But soon all of that will change.

The King Street Center is set to be demolished in January 2014 and officials hope the doors open to the new building a year later.

King Street Center is hoping to raise all of the $4.5 million through grants and donations.

It will still offer programming at a different location during demolition. They have not yet signed a lease.

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