COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Wednesday, Cohoes officials cut the ribbon on a new music studio and “connect lab” at the Connect Center for Youth. The city describes them as new spaces for young people to access technology for school work and creative projects.

Amid the COVID pandemic, a “technology gap” has widened between students of different economic backgrounds, and many middle and high schoolers are trying to learn remotely without inadequate access. The center aims to help bridge the gap in the local community.

The Cohoes Connect Center is opening this academic support space for students without sufficient computer and WiFi access. The music studio is described as a dynamic space with a sound booth for recording music and podcasts.

The opening of the connect lab and music studio completes a first phase of the city’s Connect STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Lab. The next phases will include a technology workshop, media room, commercial kitchen classroom, and recreation space.

The city said opening the Connect Center depended on contributions from the community, including a “Grace in Action” construction crew that donated over two months spent painting, installing flooring, and doing carpentry and electrical work.

The Center’s mission is helping to “break the cycle of poverty by connecting youth to their full potential.” It located at 49 Johnston Avenue in part of what was originally St. Agnes Church, built by immigrant mill workers in 1891.