Outback Construction Firm: ‘To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Building Was Built in Accordance to the Design Specifications’


Officials from the Stamford-based company that served as builder on the New Canaan Outback Teen Center project in 2001 said they regretted to learn last week of the structural problems that prompted the closing of that facility to the public.

Though the firm was “made aware of the situation late in the process,” A.P. Construction is “ready to work with the town officials and original design team on the project including the local structural engineer, design architect, and structural subcontractor to take a look at the center together and provide recommendations as required,” Kim DePra, vice president of marketing and communications, said in a statement on behalf of the company.

“To the best of our knowledge the building was built in accordance to the design specifications and was inspected by the town and a certificate of occupancy was issued. We are looking for what information we have retained in our files on this project from almost 20 years ago that would help to clarify any construction questions.”

An engineering study of Outback commissioned by First Selectman Rob Mallozzi days after the town became owner of the building on July found that it was structurally unsound and unsafe. Since then, though New Canaan’s prior building official issued a Certificate of Occupancy in the summer of 2001—a new person has been in that position for several years—the town has been unable to locate an important document that follows comprehensive final inspections.

According to a July 19 report from Danbury-based Di Salvo Engineering Group, a review of original building drawings shows that what had been designed “is not what was built.”

“The main level framing is not as indicated on the structural drawings,” Di Salvo said. “Interior posts were installed farther apart than shown on the plans creating spans of equal length between posts of approximately 10 feet. Girders were considerably smaller than indicated on the plan. The joists were not spaced according to the plans.”

New Canaan’s buildings superintendent said a lack of documentation makes it unclear whether the building itself was not built according to plans, or built correctly but under faulty plans.

The Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting Tuesday is expected to discuss the matter, including whether to spend nearly $20,000 on a study that would tell New Canaan what’s needed to restore it. Mallozzi has said he also wants to know what it would cost to raze the structure.

3 thoughts on “Outback Construction Firm: ‘To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Building Was Built in Accordance to the Design Specifications’

  1. Just wondering, what would the town use the building for ? Tear it down ! It should not have been built there anyway. The town wants it down for more parking !

  2. If the teen center is condemned, why hasn’t the town put some yellow tape around the building with a warning sign saying” keep Out”? The cars that park near it are in danger as well ! Seriously, the building was put in the wrong spot to begin with. It was a good thought, but it didn’t work. Tear it down and move on..

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