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Fate of New Westport Y Rests on More Funding

WESTPORT, Conn. – Construction on the first phase of the new Westport Weston Family Y facility may not break ground this October as hoped. At least $6 million more must be raised for the project by May, according to Y CEO Rob Reeves.

His announcement was made during a special Family Y public meeting Monday night. Last month, officials announced plans to construct a 102,000-square-foot facility in phases as a way to keep pace with fundraising. The new facility, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, would be built on the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno Outdoor Center. The project will include a reconfiguration of Exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway.

The first phase of construction would begin with a nearly 55,000-square-foot main building. However, to forge ahead, Reeves said a “significant” amount of the remaining $6.2 million needed to meet financial and construction deadlines must be secured by May 14.

“Our board decided if it doesn’t look we’ll have a significant amount of the $6 million, or close to it, we don’t think the project will go through,” Reeves said Tuesday.

If the project doesn’t begin, Reeves said Westport and Weston resident face losing the Family Y. The Y property, located at 59 Post Road E., was sold to Bedford Square Associates in 2006. The organization, which has served the community since 1923, has until 2014 to vacate the site, Reeves said.

Construction of the new main building at Mahackeno is estimated to take two years to complete, which is why Reeves said it’s vital the project move forward this fall. Otherwise, the Y will have no place to move into by 2014.

“We can’t image the community without the Y,” he said. “This is an opportunity for the community to step forward. And I’m confident people will.”

Reeves said Family Y officials have reached out to donors and have received some proposals for major gifts.

Although the new facility won’t be built all at once, Reeves stressed that the main building to be built first will be a fully functioning facility. It will include a lap pool and family/teaching pool; a 5,900-square-foot Wellness Center; a multipurpose gymnasium; three fitness studios; a Child Watch/Kids’ Gym area; five locker rooms; and other amenities.

For more information about fundraising for the new facility, contact Rob Reeves at 203-226-8981, Ext. 131, or rreeves@westporty.org .

Click here to view the lower level floor plans of the proposed new main building. First floor plans can be viewed by clicking on the below link.

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