WESTPORT, Conn. – Ground may soon be broken on the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, Westport's outdoor summer concert venue. Construction on the modern facility is anticipated to begin next month, town and Levitt officials announced.
“It looks like [construction] will start next month and we couldn’t be more excited,” Carleigh Welsh, marketing and communications director for the Levitt, said Tuesday. “This represents a whole new beginning for us and it will be incredible transformation.”
The new pavilion will be built on the grounds behind the Westport Library, its longtime home, and will replace the temporary stage. As a result, the space will be unavailable for this year’s concert season once construction begins.
But residents need not worry—there will still be free nights of entertainment this summer, Welsh said.
“We’re seeking to have this year’s concerts on Jesup Green,” Welsh said. “We’re in the process of filing applications with the appropriate town departments for approval, and hoping for the best.”
Construction on the new facility, which has a $6.7 million price tag, was originally expected to begin last September and be completed before the start of this year’s concert season. However, the funds needed to start the project were not in place, Parks and Recreation Department Director Stuart McCarthy told the Board of Finance Monday night.
Within the next two weeks, the town is expected to receive a check for $4.75 million in privately raised funds from the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion, said McCarthy, who is also an appointed member of the Levitt Pavilion governing board. Once the town receives that money, construction can begin, he said.
In addition to the $4.75 million, the town last year agreed to contribute $1.1 million toward the new facility. A total of $950,000 in state grants has also been secured for the project, Welsh said.
Designed by Peter Cadoux Architects, the new pavilion will boast a covered stage, an information booth and hospitality center featuring a concessions area and bathrooms.
If construction begins next month, McCarthy said the facility would be completed and ready to open next June, in time for the start of the 2014 season.
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