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Westport Weston Family Y Gets Final Approvals To Open New Campus

The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build.
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build.
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build.
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build.
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build.
The Westport Weston Family Y's new campus will be known as the Bedford Family Center. The new facility cost $38.5 million to build. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y

WESTPORT, Conn. – It’s “all systems are go” for the new Westport Weston Family Y to fully throw open the doors to its new campus at Mahackeno.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, the town of Westport’s Board of Selectmen, operating in its capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, unanimously approved the operating agreement as required by the town ordinance for private on-site wastewater disposal systems.

The 3-0 vote, along with the completion of a related financial agreement, will enable the Family Y to receive a certificate of occupancy. This will allow for the full public use of the Y’s new 54,000-square-foot facility at its 32-acre Mahackeno campus along the Saugatuck River just north of downtown Westport.

“This is a critical milestone, and we look forward to members being able to use this facility in the very near future,” First Selectman Jim Marpe said at the meeting.

That future will begin on Monday, Oct. 6 at 5:30 a.m. at the Y’s modern new home at 14 Allen Raymond Lane, said Family Y CEO Rob Reeves.

“We thank the selectmen for their actions today, which completes a process that began more than a decade ago to create a new center of community life, wellness and fellowship,” Reeves said. “As our dear late friend Allen Raymond put it so memorably last spring, ‘Here at last, here at last, Thank God almighty we are here at last.’ ”

As classes, activities and programs continue at the Y’s current facility until then, Y staff will complete the transition from the Y’s downtown home for the past 91 years to the Bedford Family Center, as the new $38.5 million facility is known.

“In addition to switching over our phone system and other last-minute logistics, we’ll be conducting a series of safety and security drills,” Reeves said. “We are delighted to have hundreds of new Y members ready to join us at our new Y and want to be as fully prepared as possible for what will surely be a very big day on Monday, Oct. 6.”

The town approval for the Y to activate its on-site septic system was the final hurdle to clear before opening. In the end, the selectmen’s meeting amounted to, in Marpe’s words, “dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.”

Assistant Town Attorney Gail Kelly thanked a number of town staffers and local experts involved in the process, including Mike Bartos of LandTech Consultants. She also praised the “cordial and cooperative attitude of the Y” during the negotiation of the agreement, which involved the Town’s Conservation Department, Planning & Zoning, Public Works Department, Water Pollution Control Authority and Finance Department, as well as various state agencies.

Third Selectman Helen Garten echoed that sentiment. “I’m very pleased how this came out and am delighted to see this [process] in operation and to know that the town is protected. I wish the Y the very best of success in the future.”

Second Selectman Avi Kaner compared the Y’s building project with the once-debated but now much-loved playground at Compo Beach. “Now’s the time to come together and celebrate this new crown jewel.”

The Y will continue its series of Open House preview tours of its new facility.

The scheduled times are noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. No reservations are needed.

Detailed directions to the new Y, as well as the online calendar of scheduled Open House tours, may be found at www.westporty.org .

For information about membership options and benefits, please contact Brian Marazzi, Membership Engagement Director, at 203-226-8981 or bmarazzi@westporty.org.

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