FAIRFIELD — The first step to creating a one-stop shop for youth services at the vacant Sullivan Middle School was taken Tuesday as city and school leaders gave the OK to move forward.
The rare joint meeting between the Fairfield-Suisun School District and the Fairfield City Council was a culmination that many in the city and school district have been working toward for almost five years. The plan is to take all services spread throughout the district and city and place them in a central location.
“This is the culmination of four in a half years of dreaming, talking and working together,” Superintendent Jacki Cottingim-Dias said. She was joined by Police Chief Walt Tibbet and City Manager Sean Quinn while leading the meeting.
Many of the services are needed by at-risk youth or those in the juvenile justice system. Some of those services pertain to probation, mental health, truancy, diversion and enrollment.
The center could also become the future home of the Matt Garcia Police Activities League. Sullivan was closed last summer and has the room to accommodate the center when the lease on the current location is up in 2017.
Tuesday’s 10-0 vote simply gave direction to city staff to crunch the numbers and return with the cost. Trustee David Isom didn’t attend the meeting and Councilman John Mraz left before the vote. Many of the details are not known and will be presented to both groups as they move ahead.
The meeting was attended by the heads of many of the departments that will utilize the center in the district. Also speaking in favor of the idea was District Attorney Don du Bain, Judge Robert Fracchia and Chief Probation Officer Chris Hanson.
Hanson spoke about the need to curb problems in youth early, which will turn out to be a benefit and savings on the back end.
“We’re in a battle for the heart and souls of our youth,” Hanson said. “Probation is committed to this. Anything we can do, we’re all over this.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.