Mark Stebbins Community Center Effort Finds New Location on Manchester’s West Side

Manchester, NH – After several months of reviewing options and exploring possible sites for a new West Side Manchester community center, the board of directors of the Mark Stebbins Community Center (MSCC) and the board of commissioners for the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority (MHRA) announced the two entities have signed a 75-year lease to build and operate a new facility for local children and residents. MHRA owns the land and has fully agreed to the project.

MHRA will lease the land to MSCC for a nominal amount, and MSCC will raise the funds and build a community center accessible to children and families throughout the West Side. Feasibility studies and project planning is now underway for the site. A construction timeline is being developed now.

Mark Stebbins

“This is a natural partnership and one in which everything fell into place perfectly,” said Bill Steele, chairman of the MSCC board of directors. “The Kelley Falls location already had plans developed for a community center to be incorporated into the site. The concept has already received support from the city and locals, but partners had not been identified until MSCC board members began a dialogue about the potential project. It’s like this site was waiting for us to find it.”

MSCC will be raising funds from individual donors and local and national foundations and companies, and pursuing state and federal funding. The center is a nonprofit and will pay for all construction and operating expenses through raised funds. Taxpayers and/or residents of the city will not be paying for any aspects of the center.

“This is an ideal next step for residents of Kelley Falls and for children of the West Side of Manchester,” said Catherine Naczas of MHRA. “This facility will provide both a guarantee of space for children who live at Kelley Falls as well as access to families on the entire West Side for services provided by outstanding nonprofit agencies.”

The center will focus on providing services for youth and families on the West Side, in keeping with Mark Stebbins’ lifelong philanthropic impact and deep ties to the community. Boys & Girls Club and Amoskeag Health will be providing services for youth and families through the center on the West Side, just as they do now on the East Side. All services will be specifically for youth and families, such as affordable, walkable childcare; after school care; access to affordable health care; community meeting space; and additional needed support services in coordination with fellow nonprofit providers.

Site surveys and fundraising/financing will help determine the final size of the center, which will be roughly 20,000sf, well within the size limitations for this land site. Traffic impacts are expected to be minimal given the multiple points of access and egress to the location. In addition, the leadership team for this project will approach the Manchester planning board and Aldermanic board for the necessary approvals for the project later this year.

The Mark Stebbins Community Center honors the memory of Mark Stebbins, who served as chairman and CEO of PROCON until his passing in June of 2021. He was was a strong advocate of Manchester’s nonprofit community and gave both his time and talents to support their missions.

For this new location, there was and will continue to be an effort to go directly to residents who live nearby to offer information and a way to contact project leaders with questions or concerns, including community meetings to discuss the project and meetings with local neighbors. Visit or email [email protected] for more information.

“It’s clear that the West Side of Manchester will benefit from programs and activities offered by both Amoskeag and the Boys & Girls Club,” said Diane Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. “Many of the children currently enrolled in our activities and programs live in and around the Kelley Falls site, so this will make it easier for families to access what we have to offer.”

“This is such an exciting step forward and we are so fortunate to have found a location that is already designed for a community center such as this one,” added Kris McCracken, president and CEO of Amoskeag Health. “This will advance our work towards bringing more children-centered health care services and programs to families on the West Side. We can’t wait to get started.”