Waveny House

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Public Buildings Forum InfoSheet: Waveny House and Park

[Editor’s Note: The following “Statement of significance” has been prepared in advance of the April 26 Forum on Public Buildings, to be held 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall—more information is available here and questions for panelists can be submitted here. Most of the information in the bullet points below is drawn from the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee report.]

Built: ca. 1912
Square footage: 36,000
Current uses: Private and community events; town Recreation, Information Technology Departments
Committee recommendations: More profitable “hospitality” function of first floor; extensive renovation of second floor to provide more space for municipal use; use third floor/attic for required document and other storage. Relevant news articles: Birdcage Elevator Could be Best Option to Bring Waveny House Up to ADA Compliance (April 2018), Seeking More Info, Town Council Hits Pause on $1 Million Request for Waveny House (March 2018), ‘You Literally Just Salivate’: Officials Evaluating Town Buildings See Potential in Waveny House (April 2017)

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Selectmen Approve $34,700 Contract for Outdoor Wall Repairs at Waveny House

Town officials on Tuesday approved a $34,700 contract with a Warren, Conn.-based company to repair stone walls around Waveny House. The Board of Selectmen voted 2-0 to approve the contract with Meduri Masonry, a company that Public Works Director tiger Mann said “has done some very good work for using the past on various projects throughout town.”

“This is for wall repairs in and around the house itself,” Mann told the selectmen at their meeting, held at Town Hall. “These will be comprised of the one existing wall that is adjacent to the parterre garden that is being replaced right now, and the wall to the north of it has actually collapsed over time.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Kit Devereaux voted in favor of the contract, which includes $30,200 plus $4,500 in contingency. Selectman Nick Williams was absent. “This is a town-funded project, this is not a partnership with the [Waveny Park] Conservancy, and the funds are currently available,” Mann said. Continue Reading →

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Seeking More Info, Town Council Hits Pause on $1 Million Request for Waveny House

As a member of two committees that have studied the physical plant and uses of Waveny House, Christa Kenin said she’s sat through many brainstorming sessions regarding the 1912 public building. It’s been imagined as a future home for the Board of Education and a conference center, among other uses, Kenin told fellow Town Council members at their regular meeting Wednesday night. There’s been “no shortage of good ideas,” she said, yet right now Waveny House is in a “holding pattern.”

“And unfortunately, it is low-revenue-generating, and so for that reason I am not motivated to throw any money at it right now,” Kenin said as the legislative body discussed a capital funding request from the Department of Public Works for $1 million to install an elevator at Waveny House and accessible routes and bathrooms on the second floor in order to make it ADA-compliant at long last. “I don’t think it’s ‘Do this or shut it down,’ ” Kenin continued at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “I am more in favor of let’s take people off of the second floor, save $1 million, because that will kind of push us to actually make some decisions and this is long overdue for the ADA. Continue Reading →

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‘The Project Is Going Very Well’: Waveny House Roof Replacement Underway

The widely discussed $2.3 million replacement of Waveny House’s porous and crumbling roof is underway and progressing nicely, town officials say. Contractors are stripping the existing roof and making repairs to damaged areas of the structure beneath it as they go, with an eye on starting the new roof next month, according to Bill Oestman, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “The risk is diminishing daily as the work progresses and we have not uncovered anything that we didn’t already know about,” Oestmann told NewCanaanite.com. “The project is going very well.”

At this point, workers from Danbury-based Alden Bailey are on track to finish the project ahead of an end-of-year deadline, he said. They’re starting on the east side of the 1912-built Waveny House and are expected to encounter significant structural damage as they go—due mostly to the town’s decades-old neglect of capital maintenance on it. Continue Reading →

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‘You Literally Just Salivate’: Officials Evaluating Town Buildings See Potential in Waveny House

Known to generations of New Canaanites as the elegant host site of weddings, banquets and fundraisers, Waveny House also has largely untapped areas that could serve new uses, officials say. Recreation and public works officials have done a “phenomenal job” of clearing the 17,000-square-foot attic of post-prom props and other items that have collected there for years, according to Bill Holmes, a member of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee. “When we go up there, you literally just salivate,” Holmes said during the committee’s April 10 meeting, held at Town Hall. “The space is beautiful. There are skylights.”

Part of a two-person team studying the 1912-built town-owned building, together with committee co-chair Penny Young, Holmes added: “The notes we are making as we went through the basement, there are so many rooms with beautiful natural light from all the wells and depressions outside. Continue Reading →

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