The $14.5 million renovation of Town Hall took a big step forward Monday as the group overseeing the project for New Canaan voted on its favorite proposed model—an important milestone in a widely anticipated effort that officials say will dramatically improve the municipal buliding and its services.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said Tuesday during a press briefing that New Canaan soon will have a "modern Town Hall" (see attached PDF) that retains the original 1909 structure's historic character while adding ADA accessibility and built-in technology to ease public use.
"I think most importantly it provides almost all essential Town Hall services in one building again, which we have not had since the major flood of 2007," Mallozzi said. Several town offices, including the building and health departments, are located at Irwin Park.
Next steps include a March 11 meeting at New Canaan High School's Wagner Room where residents will be able to ask questions of the architectural firm that's drawn up the plans—White Plains, NY-based KSQ Architects PC—as well as building committee members and finance officials, and also hear a presentation on the project. After that, the project would go before Planning and Zoning on March 26.
The facility is slated to open early in the summer of 2015.
Mallozzi and Department of Public Works Director Michael Pastore credited town residents who belong to the building committee for giving selflessly of their time and lending professional expertise to steer the project to this point, as well as municipal adjuncts to that panel.
According to the town website, members of the "Town Hall Building Committee III" include Mallozzi himself and:
- Michael Anthony
- Michael Avgerinos, Chairman
- Neil Budnick
- Kathleen Corbet
- John Goodwin
- Randy Salvatore, Vice Chairman
The group has been incrediby dedicated, Pastore said.
"These are people that have jobs and businesses and still have the ability to take an interest and put the dollars where they belong," the DPW chief said. "I think the town is fortunate to have them."
Coming in on budget and accounting for every dollar spent has been top of mind throughout the vetting process, Mallozzi said.
Building committee members and residents alike are "palpably excited" about the prospect of the new building, he said.
"There's a real campus feel to this and everyone loved the scale," Mallozzi said. "What I think is really nice is the roof remains on the old part of Town Hall but two we now have two wings, a flat roof and skylight, so when you walk into the new engrance, you will look up and see the cupola of the old Town Hall through the skylight."
With approvals from P&Z, the town can pursue hiring contractors for demolition of the current Town Hall, Mallozzi said.