Now that the fourth and final lawsuit against the Westport Weston Family Y's plans to build a new facility on its Mahackeno property has been buried , CEO Rob Reeves said the community nonprofit can move forward without worry.
And what's the first order of business? Raising money to fund the project, Reeves said.
"We'll be announcing our capital campaign sometime this year," said Reeves, not wanting to put a specific price tag on the project at this point, although it has been reported it will cost about $40 million.
Under the project, which will take about two years to complete, a 102,000-square-foot facility will be built on the 32-acre Mahackeno property. Exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway will also be reconfigured to accommodate more traffic. Reeves said work is expected to begin in 2012, starting with the redesign of Exit 41.
"That absolutely needs to be done first," said Reeves. "It's our top priority to make sure traffic flows smoothly and that we have enough parking, something we don't have now."
Currently, the Y spans three connected buildings and has been in the same location since 1923. "Its been a great building, but we've out grown it," he said.
Because the new Y will be 22,000-square-feet larger than its current home, Reeves said there will be more room for everything. For example, the Wellness Center at the new facility will be two times larger and will overlook one of the two pools.
Among other differences, babysitting services will be expanded to accommodate 64 children, the Child Care Program will have its own outdoor playground, the gymnastics center will be 30 percent larger and there will be 270 parking spaces. But perhaps most important, the new facility will be handicap accessible, Reeves said. "I hope those who opposed this will come to see how wonderful this will be for the community."
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