The fledgling Island Wide Youth Collaborative celebrated a milestone this week by breaking ground for a new building.

In a chilly drizzle on Tuesday afternoon, shovels went into the ground on the campus of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. The building was made possible thanks to a $620,000 grant from MVYouth, a donor fund established last summer to give a boost to Island young people through scholarships and capital funding for programs.

“We have a whole bunch of thank-yous to make,” said Community Services executive director Juliette Fay. At the outset she acknowledged Dan Stanton and Jim Swartz, co-founders of MVYouth, for their contribution. “It’s an enormous statement of generosity for kids on the Island," she said.

Bill Potter of Squash Meadow Construction helped navigate the regulatory process and dug the hole for the foundation. — Alison Mead

She also thanked the organizations that joined Community Services in creating the youth collaborative: the YMCA, the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Task Force and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. “They really partnered together and really thought through providing services for youth with mental health issues and substance abuse issues,” she said.

Bill Potter of Squash Meadow Construction, who helped the organization through the regulatory process and dug the hole for the new building, also received special thanks.

“There’s a lot of gratitude in our hearts for the work people have done,” said Ms. Fay.

The youth collaborative center aims to provide connections to local services and fill gaps in services for hundreds of children, adolescents, young adults and their families, including on mental health and substance abuse issues. The center will contain offices, a large group space and a large kitchen. Construction is set to be finished in the fall.