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Alexandria Seaport Foundation’s second floating center gets back on City Council docket

After two years in limbo, the Alexandria Seaport Foundation’s request to open a second floating Seaport Center on the waterfront is going back to City Council for approval next week.

The project was supposed to go to the Planning Commission in April 2020, but got sidelined by the pandemic. On Tuesday, March 8, Council will vote on the second center, which would be adjacent to its current location — the 1,200-square-foot McIlhenny Seaport Center at 0 Thompsons Alley.

Since 1992, the Seaport Foundation has trained hundreds of 16-to-22-year-old at-risk youngsters to become experienced woodworkers, boat builders and carpenters. The expansion would double the number of apprentices, from 15 to 30, and make up for losing its second location with the sale of Robinson Terminal South nearly a decade ago. Apprentices also have to earn their high school equivalency and take outside coursework. They’re paid between $8-$12 an hour for working Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The plan for the 1,740 square-foot facility has also gotten the endorsement of the Waterfront Commission.

“The Commission recognizes the significant contribution the Seaport Foundation provides to the community,” the Commission wrote in a letter of support to Council.  “The addition of a second educational seaport center will provide the needed space to meet the increased demand to serve the City’s most vulnerable youth.”

Via Alexandria Seaport Foundation/Instagram

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