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Westport's New Golf Halfway House Shaping Up

WESTPORT, Conn. – Golfers may soon see construction as they near the ninth green at Westport's Longshore Club Park golf course. Next month, groundbreaking is scheduled for a new halfway house , said Mark Holod, chairman of the 9th ½ Hole Committee.

Supported by the nonprofit organization Friends of Westport's Parks & Recreation , the 9th & ½ Hole Committee has been raising private donations for the halfway house, where golfers will be able to grab a quick bite or get in from the rain.

"Our current schedule calls for construction to begin in November, with the building being finished and ready for use when the course opens for business in spring 2012," said Holod.

Plans for the 750-square-foot structure include a concession area, complete with kitchen and grilling area, a patio and restrooms. It will serve as a permanent replacement for the original halfway house, which burned down in 2003. Since then, a food trailer has served as a stand-in.

The project is estimated to cost $225,000. Stuart McCarthy, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, told the Board of Selectmen Wednesday the goal is to raise $175,000 in cash and $50,000 in in-kind services—donated services and materials.

Through a series of fundraising efforts, such as the recent Golf Benefit & Golf Ball Gala , Holod estimates the committee has reached $175,000. With regard to in-kind donations, he said the committee so far has gotten a contractor to donate the foundation labor, another excavation labor and a third siding labor.

"We hope to identify other generous contractors to donate labor for the electrical work, plumbing and painting," he said.

Once the halfway house is completed, it will be turned over to the town to operate and maintain. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to accept the halfway house as a gift to the town Wednesday during its meeting. This approval will be reviewed by the Representative Town Meeting, the town's legislative body, at its next meeting.

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