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Construction on New Westport Y to Begin in October

WESTPORT, Conn. – Now that a construction company has been hired, the Westport Weston Family Y can move forward with its plans to construct a new facility at its Mahackeno Outdoor Center, the Y announced Thursday.

Turner Construction Co., which worked on several Westport projects, including Bedford Middle School, the Senior Center, reconstruction of Staples High School, and renovation of the Westport Country Playhouse, was recently hired for the project.

Construction is expected to break ground in October. But instead of constructing the planned 102,000-square-foot facility all at once, the Y’s volunteer Board of Directors and Board of Trustees voted to tackle the project in phases.

“While we regret that we can’t construct the whole facility at the same time, we are convinced that it is the most fiscally responsible thing to do,” Jim Marpe, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

“As we explored our options going forward, including a thorough review of several recently built Y facilities in the Northeast, we realized that a ‘phased’ construction process is common. Not only does it make sense economically, it also gives us greater flexibility going forward to meet the evolving needs of the community we’ve served for nearly a century.”

The first phase of construction will begin with a 55,000-square-foot main building that will include a competitive lap pool and family/teaching pool; wellness center; gymnasium; three fitness studios; child watch area; five locker rooms and other amenities.

Building the facility in phases will also allow the Y to keep pace with fundraising for the facility, Bonnie Strittmatter, president of the Board of Directors, said.

“As more dollars are given, we’ll be able to expand our new Family Y and add the rest of the features envisioned in the original design for our Mahackeno campus,” she said.

In moving forward with construction, the Y has filed an application to connect the planned new facility to the town’s municipal sanitary sewer system. The Family Y had previously gained local and state approval to install and operate a septic system that would safely treat wastewater from the new Y facility on site.

“Given the previously stated support of the Conservation Commission and that of First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, we are confident that our application to connect to the town’s sewer system will be received favorably and approved by the appropriate local bodies without undue delay,” Family Y CEO Rob Reeves said in the statement.

Family Y officials and its development partners believe utilizing the town’s municipal sewer system will preserve 1.5 acres of Mahackeno’s woodlands, further protect the Saugatuck River, reduce construction and ongoing operational costs, and dispel public concern about the size and location of the septic system.

Family Y members and the public are invited to review plans and designs for the phased-in facility at an informational meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22. The meeting will be held at the Y, 59 Post Road E.

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